Wall Street analysts’ outlook for Morgan Stanley (MS)

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) stock jumped 1.47% on Friday to $90.20 against a previous-day closing price of $88.89. With 8.8 million shares changed hands, the volume of the stock remained heavier than its average volume of 7.79 million shares. During the session, the Capital Markets company that operates in wider Financial sector, reached to the highest price of $90.84 whereas the lowest price it dropped to was $89.80. The 52-week range on MS shows that it touched its highest point at $109.73 and its lowest point at $72.05 during that stretch. It currently has a 1-year price target of $95.65. With its current market cap of 154.03 billion, MS has annualized dividend of $3.10 while the current yield stands at 3.44%. Beta for the stock currently stands at 1.39.

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Price Performance and Earnings:

Stock performance is one of the indicators that investors use to determine whether they will profit from a stock. The price performance of MS was up-trending over the past week, with a rise of 5.67%, but this was up by 20.30% over a month. Three-month performance surged to 14.34% while six-month performance fell -17.04%. The stock lost -13.17% in the past year, while it has lost -8.11% so far this year. A look at the trailing 12-month EPS for MS yields 7.40 with Next year EPS estimates of 7.85. For the next quarter, that number is 1.52. This implies an EPS growth rate of 24.20% for this year and 17.73% for next year. EPS is expected to grow by 1.59% annually over the next five years; however, over the past five years, the company experienced an annual growth rate of 22.40%.

Float and Shares Shorts:

At present, 1.73 billion MS shares are outstanding with a float of 1.34 billion shares on hand for trading. On Jul 14, 2022, short shares totaled 15.81 million, which was 0.92% higher than short shares on Jun 14, 2022. In addition to Mr. James Patrick Gorman as the firm’s Chairman & CEO, Mr. Andrew Michael Saperstein serves as its Co-Pres & Head of Wealth Management.

Institutional Ownership:

Through their ownership of 65.21% of MS’s outstanding shares, institutional investors have majority control over the company. Other institutions hold 35.98% of MS, in contrast to 28.36% held by mutual funds. Shares owned by individuals account for 25.39%. As the largest shareholder in MS with 7.46% of the stake, SSgA Funds Management, Inc. holds 130,449,037 shares worth 130,449,037. A second-largest stockholder of MS, The Vanguard Group, Inc., holds 113,878,557 shares, controlling over 6.51% of the firm’s shares. BlackRock Fund Advisors is the third largest shareholder in MS, holding 65,594,131 shares or 3.75% stake. With a 2.36% stake in MS, the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index is the largest stakeholder. A total of 41,262,258 shares are owned by the mutual fund manager. The Vanguard 500 Index Fund, which owns about 1.77% of MS stock, is the second-largest Mutual Fund holder. It holds 30,974,956 shares valued at 2.36 billion. Government Pension Fund – Global holds 0.90% of the stake in MS, owning 15,744,621 shares worth 1.2 billion.

Analysts Ratings:

Reading analyst opinions is an effective way to decide where to invest, and there are several opinions available for MS since 28 analysts follow the stock currently. There are 16 analysts who recommend BUY ratings, while 0 suggest SELL ratings. Of the remaining analysts, 7 believe that the stock is worth HOLDING, 5 give it an OVERWEIGHT rating, and 0 thinks that it’s UNDERWEIGHT. In the same way, a target price assigned to a stock can also reveal much about its potential. With MS analysts setting a high price target of $108.00 and a low target of $79.30, the average target price over the next 12 months is $94.83. Based on these targets, MS could surge 19.73% to reach the target high and fall by -12.08% to reach the target low. Reaching the average price target will result in a growth of 5.13% from current levels.

EPS: Estimates vs Actual

It is also common to use earnings estimates to evaluate a firm’s growth potential and to determine trading strategy. MS will report FY 2022 earnings on 01/19/2023. Analysts have provided yearly estimates in a range of $7.36 being high and $5.92 being low. For MS, this leads to a yearly average estimate of $6.77. The earnings surprise of a firm occurs when the actual results change from the consensus earnings estimate. Morgan Stanley surprised analysts by -$0.12 when it reported $1.44 EPS against a consensus estimate of $1.56. The surprise factor in the prior quarter was $0.35. Based on analyst estimates, the high estimate for the next quarter is $1.77 and the low estimate is $1.21. The average estimate for the next quarter is thus $1.56.

Summary of Insider Activity:

Insiders traded MS stock several times over the past three months with 15 Buys and 3 Sells. In these transactions, 59,780 shares were bought while 297 shares were sold. The number of buy transactions has increased to 40 while that of sell transactions has risen to 38 over the past year. The total number of shares bought during that period was 1,681,292 while 975,396 shares were sold.

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