Essex Financial Services Inc. Sells 1,526 Shares of Morgan Stanley (MS)

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Essex Financial Services Inc. decreased its stake in Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) by 19.9% during the 1st quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The firm owned 6,158 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after selling 1,526 shares during the period. Essex Financial Services Inc.’s holdings in Morgan Stanley were worth $260,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Cornerstone Advisors Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Morgan Stanley by 15.3% in the 1st quarter. Cornerstone Advisors Inc. now owns 7,335 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $310,000 after acquiring an additional 972 shares during the last quarter. Wedge Capital Management L L P NC grew its holdings in shares of Morgan Stanley by 1.1% in the 1st quarter. Wedge Capital Management L L P NC now owns 634,557 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $26,778,000 after acquiring an additional 7,038 shares during the last quarter. Cornerstone Wealth Group LLC acquired a new position in shares of Morgan Stanley in the 1st quarter worth $1,559,000. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Morgan Stanley by 3.3% in the 1st quarter. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. now owns 265,118 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $11,188,000 after acquiring an additional 8,480 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Motco grew its holdings in shares of Morgan Stanley by 18,862.2% in the 1st quarter. Motco now owns 128,943 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $5,441,000 after acquiring an additional 128,263 shares during the last quarter. 86.11% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

A number of brokerages recently issued reports on MS. Wells Fargo & Co restated a “buy” rating on shares of Morgan Stanley in a report on Wednesday, April 17th. Citigroup cut Morgan Stanley from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $48.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Thursday, April 18th. Royal Bank of Canada set a $60.00 target price on Morgan Stanley and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 24th. Oppenheimer lifted their target price on Morgan Stanley from $60.00 to $61.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Tuesday, March 26th. Finally, ValuEngine upgraded Morgan Stanley from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, May 3rd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $56.24.

In other news, CFO Paul C. Wirth sold 25,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.40, for a total value of $1,060,000.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 169,031 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,166,914.40. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Daniel A. Simkowitz bought 7,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, April 18th. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $47.57 per share, with a total value of $332,990.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 193,089 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,185,243.73. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Company insiders own 0.23% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Morgan Stanley stock opened at $46.53 on Thursday. The firm has a market capitalization of $78.78 billion, a PE ratio of 10.09, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.12 and a beta of 1.24. The company has a quick ratio of 0.81, a current ratio of 0.81 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.60. Morgan Stanley has a 12 month low of $36.74 and a 12 month high of $55.64.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) last issued its earnings results on Wednesday, April 17th. The financial services provider reported $1.33 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.17 by $0.16. The business had revenue of $10.29 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.96 billion. Morgan Stanley had a return on equity of 11.50% and a net margin of 16.75%. Morgan Stanley’s revenue was down 7.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $1.45 earnings per share. As a group, analysts predict that Morgan Stanley will post 4.79 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, May 15th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, April 30th will be given a $0.30 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Monday, April 29th. This represents a $1.20 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.58%. Morgan Stanley’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 26.03%.

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Morgan Stanley Company Profile

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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Want to see what other hedge funds are holding MS? Visit HoldingsChannel.com to get the latest 13F filings and insider trades for Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS).

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS)

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