Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS)’s share price gapped up prior to trading on Thursday after the company announced better than expected quarterly earnings. The stock had previously closed at $41.21, but opened at $42.79. Morgan Stanley shares last traded at $43.72, with a volume of 10,094,740 shares changing hands.

The financial services provider reported $1.27 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.10 by $0.17. The business had revenue of $10.03 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.63 billion. Morgan Stanley had a net margin of 16.06% and a return on equity of 11.04%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.17 EPS.

MS has been the subject of several analyst reports. Sandler O’Neill raised shares of Morgan Stanley from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $48.00 price target for the company in a research report on Thursday, October 10th. BMO Capital Markets set a $69.00 price target on shares of Morgan Stanley and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, July 19th. Oppenheimer set a $65.00 price target on shares of Morgan Stanley and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, July 19th. UBS Group reissued a “buy” rating and set a $53.00 price target on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research report on Thursday. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of Morgan Stanley from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 2nd. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and nine have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $54.62.

In related news, major shareholder Ufj Financial Group Mitsubishi acquired 70,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 18th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $1.01 per share, for a total transaction of $70,700.00. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Insiders acquired a total of 420,000 shares of company stock valued at $426,300 over the last 90 days. Company insiders own 0.23% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of MS. First Trust Advisors LP raised its position in Morgan Stanley by 5.3% in the 1st quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 750,089 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $31,654,000 after purchasing an additional 38,071 shares during the last quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. raised its position in Morgan Stanley by 8.9% in the 1st quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 6,144,113 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $259,282,000 after purchasing an additional 502,613 shares during the last quarter. Rehmann Capital Advisory Group raised its position in Morgan Stanley by 19.4% in the 1st quarter. Rehmann Capital Advisory Group now owns 2,578 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $109,000 after purchasing an additional 419 shares during the last quarter. LVM Capital Management Ltd. MI raised its position in Morgan Stanley by 0.4% in the 2nd quarter. LVM Capital Management Ltd. MI now owns 238,404 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $10,444,000 after purchasing an additional 1,054 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Fulton Bank N.A. raised its position in Morgan Stanley by 4.4% in the 2nd quarter. Fulton Bank N.A. now owns 33,851 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,483,000 after purchasing an additional 1,424 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 83.66% of the company’s stock.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.66, a quick ratio of 0.77 and a current ratio of 0.77. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $42.50 and its two-hundred day moving average is $43.50. The stock has a market cap of $70.29 billion, a P/E ratio of 9.47, a PEG ratio of 1.17 and a beta of 1.35.

Morgan Stanley Company Profile (NYSE:MS)

Morgan Stanley, a financial holding company, provides various financial products and services to corporations, governments, financial institutions, and individuals in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. The company operates through Institutional Securities, Wealth Management, and Investment Management segments.

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