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Is Morgan Stanley (MS) A Good Stock To Buy?

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Hedge fund managers like David Einhorn, Dan Loeb, or Carl Icahn became billionaires through reaping large profits for their investors, which is why piggybacking their stock picks may provide us with significant returns as well. Many hedge funds, like Paul Singer’s Elliott Management, are pretty secretive, but we can still get some insights by analyzing their quarterly 13F filings. One of the most fertile grounds for large abnormal returns is hedge funds’ most popular small-cap picks, which are not so widely followed and often trade at a discount to their intrinsic value. In this article we will check out hedge fund activity in another small-cap stock: Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS).

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) has seen a decrease in activity from the world’s largest hedge funds lately. At the end of this article we will also compare MS to other stocks including Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F), Kimberly Clark Corp (NYSE:KMB), and The Southern Company (NYSE:SO) to get a better sense of its popularity.

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Trade (NYSE:MS) Now!

At Insider Monkey, we’ve developed an investment strategy that has delivered market-beating returns over the past 12 months. Our strategy identifies the 100 best-performing funds of the previous quarter from among the collection of 700+ successful funds that we track in our database, which we accomplish using our returns methodology. We then study the portfolios of those 100 funds using the latest 13F data to uncover the 30 most popular mid-cap stocks (market caps of between $1 billion and $10 billion) among them to hold until the next filing period. This strategy delivered 18% gains over the past 12 months, more than doubling the 8% returns enjoyed by the S&P 500 ETFs.

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Keeping this in mind, let’s view the key action surrounding Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS).

How are hedge funds trading Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS)?

At Q3’s end, a total of 46 of the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey were long this stock, a change of -6% from the previous quarter. With the smart money’s sentiment swirling, there exists a select group of key hedge fund managers who were upping their stakes significantly (or already accumulated large positions).

ms

When looking at the institutional investors followed by Insider Monkey, ValueAct Capital, managed by Jeffrey Ubben, holds the biggest position in Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS). ValueAct Capital has a $1.34 billion position in the stock, comprising 11.7% of its 13F portfolio. Coming in second is Boykin Curry of Eagle Capital Management, with a $482.5 million position; 2.1% of its 13F portfolio is allocated to the stock. Some other hedge funds and institutional investors that are bullish consist of Ric Dillon’s Diamond Hill Capital, Richard S. Pzena’s Pzena Investment Management and Ken Heebner’s Capital Growth Management.

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