Analyzing the Insider Data for Morgan Stanley (MS)

Recent insider trends for Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) have caught the attention of investors. Insider activity is often a strong indicator of future performance in a stock, and if the data on MS is anything to go by, investors should pay attention.

Institutions own 86.37% of Morgan Stanley (MS)’s shares. The total value of these holdings, in millions, is $77,741. Among active positions in the latest quarter, 413 holders increased their positions by a total of 74.54 million shares, 414 holders decreased the positions by a total of 72.31 million shares, and 159 holders held their positions. This works out to a net increase in ownership of 2.23 million shares, and suggests that institutions are feeling bullish about the stock.

Among new and sold out positions, 79 holders initiated new positions by a total of 5.7 million shares and 70 holders exited their positions by a total of 6.35 million shares. This nets out to a decrease of 654849 shares and is another bearish sign for MS.

In the last three months, insiders executed a total of 3 trades. 3 were sells. Insider ownership decreased by a total of 242362 shares, which suggests that MS’s key executives are feeling less optimistic about the outlook for the stock. The data from the past twelve months tells a similar story: insiders executed 28 buys and 49 sells, and ownership decreased by a net of 2.33 million shares.

Short interest is another tool that analysts use to gauge investor sentiment. It represents the number of a stock’s shares that are being shorted by investors. Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS)’s short interest is 13.88 million shares, or 1.04% of the float. This represents an increase of 5% in the number of shares being shorted compared to the previous reading, and implies that investors felt more pessimistic about the stock during the past two weeks.

Insider data can help an investor form an outlook on a stock, but it’s important to supplement this data with other information such as technical indicators to form a more complete view. A composite of 13 technical indicators that includes measures such as moving averages and momentum oscillators suggests that MS is a Strong buy, which implies that MS is expected to outperform the market based on prior trading patterns.


Institutional ownership trends suggest that the stock is cheap and the insider trading data indicates that insiders are bearish. Technical indicators (also) suggest that Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) is undervalued.

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