Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday, January 3rd. The brokerage currently has a $59.00 target price on the financial services provider’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price suggests a potential upside of 3.15% from the company’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “Morgan Stanley's shares have outperformed the industry in 2017. The performance was supported by the company’s impressive earnings surprise history, having surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in all the trailing four quarters. The company’s efforts to lower balance sheet risk and strengthen wealth management operations along with its cost saving initiatives (Project Streamline) will continue to support profitability. Given a solid capital position, it will likely enhance shareholder value through efficient capital deployment activities. However, continued fall in net interest income and overall trading woes are expected to hurt the company’s growth in the near term.”

MS has been the topic of several other research reports. Barclays upped their target price on Morgan Stanley from $52.00 to $62.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Tuesday, January 2nd. Buckingham Research boosted their price target on Morgan Stanley from $54.00 to $57.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 18th. Keefe, Bruyette & Woods upgraded Morgan Stanley from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $59.00 price target for the company in a research note on Tuesday, December 12th. Oppenheimer reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research note on Tuesday, October 17th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets restated a “top pick” rating and set a $69.00 target price on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research note on Wednesday, October 18th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating, seventeen have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $54.07.

Shares of Morgan Stanley (NYSE MS) remained flat at $$57.20 during midday trading on Wednesday. The company had a trading volume of 1,682,961 shares, compared to its average volume of 9,193,358. The stock has a market cap of $103,860.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.45, a P/E/G ratio of 0.99 and a beta of 1.65. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.68, a current ratio of 0.74 and a quick ratio of 0.74. Morgan Stanley has a fifty-two week low of $40.06 and a fifty-two week high of $58.05.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, January 18th. The financial services provider reported $0.84 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.77 by $0.07. Morgan Stanley had a return on equity of 10.03% and a net margin of 14.10%. The firm had revenue of $9.50 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $9.25 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $0.81 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 5.3% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts anticipate that Morgan Stanley will post 4.51 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Alistair Darling sold 3,850 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, November 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.29, for a total transaction of $189,766.50. Following the transaction, the director now owns 14,218 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $700,805.22. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Keishi Hotsuki sold 25,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $50.00, for a total transaction of $1,250,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 0.24% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Exane Derivatives lifted its position in shares of Morgan Stanley by 303.9% during the 4th quarter. Exane Derivatives now owns 1,979 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $104,000 after buying an additional 1,489 shares in the last quarter. Omnia Family Wealth LLC lifted its position in shares of Morgan Stanley by 5.8% during the 2nd quarter. Omnia Family Wealth LLC now owns 2,429 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $108,000 after buying an additional 134 shares in the last quarter. Invictus RG lifted its position in shares of Morgan Stanley by 307.5% during the 3rd quarter. Invictus RG now owns 2,335 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $112,000 after buying an additional 1,762 shares in the last quarter. Rational Advisors LLC bought a new position in shares of Morgan Stanley during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $116,000. Finally, Zions Bancorporation lifted its position in shares of Morgan Stanley by 176.1% during the 3rd quarter. Zions Bancorporation now owns 2,463 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $119,000 after buying an additional 1,571 shares in the last quarter. 86.64% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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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