Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) Short Interest Up 12.4% in November

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) saw a large increase in short interest during the month of November. As of November 29th, there was short interest totalling 16,690,000 shares, an increase of 12.4% from the November 14th total of 14,850,000 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 9,430,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 1.8 days. Approximately 1.4% of the company’s stock are short sold.

NYSE:MS traded down $0.48 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $50.21. 393,422 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 7,480,548. The firm has a market capitalization of $80.04 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 11.06, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.08 and a beta of 1.38. The company has a fifty day moving average price of $48.57 and a 200 day moving average price of $44.15. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.58, a current ratio of 0.78 and a quick ratio of 0.78. Morgan Stanley has a twelve month low of $36.74 and a twelve month high of $50.87.

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, October 17th. The financial services provider reported $1.27 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.10 by $0.17. Morgan Stanley had a return on equity of 10.86% and a net margin of 15.99%. The company had revenue of $10.03 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $9.63 billion. During the same period last year, the business posted $1.17 earnings per share. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 1.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Morgan Stanley will post 4.74 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, November 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, October 31st were issued a $0.35 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Wednesday, October 30th. This represents a $1.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.79%. Morgan Stanley’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 30.37%.

In other news, major shareholder Ufj Financial Group Mitsubishi acquired 70,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 18th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $1.01 per share, with a total value of $70,700.00. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Robert P. Rooney sold 51,105 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.13, for a total value of $2,510,788.65. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 183,448 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $9,012,800.24. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 151,105 shares of company stock valued at $5,063,359. Company insiders own 0.23% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Outlook Wealth Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in Morgan Stanley by 3.2% in the third quarter. Outlook Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 7,766 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $331,000 after purchasing an additional 240 shares during the period. Appleton Partners Inc. MA raised its position in shares of Morgan Stanley by 0.7% during the 3rd quarter. Appleton Partners Inc. MA now owns 36,971 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,578,000 after buying an additional 246 shares in the last quarter. Sandy Spring Bank raised its position in shares of Morgan Stanley by 26.2% during the 2nd quarter. Sandy Spring Bank now owns 1,262 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $55,000 after buying an additional 262 shares in the last quarter. MAI Capital Management lifted its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 5.1% in the 3rd quarter. MAI Capital Management now owns 5,399 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $230,000 after acquiring an additional 264 shares during the period. Finally, Captrust Financial Advisors lifted its stake in shares of Morgan Stanley by 1.3% in the 2nd quarter. Captrust Financial Advisors now owns 22,908 shares of the financial services provider’s stock worth $1,004,000 after acquiring an additional 285 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 84.04% of the company’s stock.

A number of research analysts have commented on MS shares. Pritchard Capital raised Morgan Stanley to a “buy” rating and set a $48.00 target price on the stock in a report on Thursday, October 10th. TheStreet raised Morgan Stanley from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 18th. UBS Group restated a “buy” rating and set a $53.00 price objective on shares of Morgan Stanley in a research note on Thursday, October 17th. BNP Paribas began coverage on shares of Morgan Stanley in a report on Tuesday, December 3rd. They issued a “buy” rating and a $59.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Sandler O’Neill upgraded shares of Morgan Stanley from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $48.00 target price for the company in a research note on Thursday, October 10th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and ten have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $55.73.

About Morgan Stanley

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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