Investors Purchase Large Volume of Morgan Stanley Call Options (NYSE:MS)

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) was the recipient of unusually large options trading on Monday. Stock investors purchased 6,765 call options on the company. This is an increase of 381% compared to the typical volume of 1,407 call options.

In related news, Chairman James P. Gorman sold 212,365 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, May 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.93, for a total transaction of $9,116,829.45. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now directly owns 1,389,378 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $59,645,997.54. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. 0.35% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. BlackRock Inc. boosted its stake in Morgan Stanley by 2,798.9% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 101,168,197 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $4,334,046,000 after buying an additional 97,678,337 shares during the last quarter. Norges Bank purchased a new stake in Morgan Stanley during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $346,891,000. FMR LLC boosted its stake in Morgan Stanley by 16.9% in the first quarter. FMR LLC now owns 46,221,986 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $1,980,150,000 after buying an additional 6,692,676 shares during the last quarter. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. purchased a new stake in Morgan Stanley during the first quarter valued at approximately $215,402,000. Finally, Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA boosted its stake in Morgan Stanley by 64.6% in the first quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 11,162,183 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $478,188,000 after buying an additional 4,380,706 shares during the last quarter. 85.26% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) traded up 0.13% during trading on Monday, hitting $46.11. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 2,454,432 shares. Morgan Stanley has a one year low of $26.03 and a one year high of $47.33. The stock has a market cap of $85.29 billion, a PE ratio of 13.68 and a beta of 1.63. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $43.48 and a 200-day moving average price of $43.64.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, April 19th. The financial services provider reported $1.00 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.90 by $0.10. The firm had revenue of $9.75 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.29 billion. Morgan Stanley had a net margin of 16.83% and a return on equity of 9.60%. Morgan Stanley’s revenue for the quarter was up 25.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.55 EPS. Equities analysts predict that Morgan Stanley will post $3.42 EPS for the current fiscal year.

A number of equities research analysts have weighed in on MS shares. Vetr raised Morgan Stanley from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $43.48 target price for the company in a research report on Monday, March 20th. J P Morgan Chase & Co reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research report on Monday, May 29th. Instinet reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $50.00 target price (down from $51.00) on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research report on Saturday, June 3rd. Compass Point downgraded Morgan Stanley from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $34.00 price target on the stock. in a report on Monday, March 27th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Rafferty Capital Markets reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $50.00 price target on shares of Morgan Stanley in a report on Saturday, April 22nd. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating, eighteen have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $43.40.

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About Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley is a financial holding company. The Company’s segments include Institutional Securities, Wealth Management and Investment Management. The Company’s Institutional Securities business segment provides investment banking, sales and trading, and other services to corporations, governments, financial institutions and high-to-ultra high net worth clients.

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