Top 5 Dividend Increases of 2021

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In this article, we discuss the top 5 dividend increases of 2021. If you want our detailed analysis of dividend investing and these stocks, go directly to Top 10 Dividend Increases of 2021

5. Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS)

Dividend Yield as of January 20: 2.80%

Dividend Increase in 2021: 100%

Number of Hedge Fund Holders: 65

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) is a New York-based multinational investment bank and financial services company, offering a range of services including investment banking, sales and trading, commodities, prime brokerage, wealth management, and investment management. 

On July 15, 2021, Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) increased its dividend by 100%, doubling the quarterly dividend from $0.35 to $0.70. On January 20, Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) declared that it would distribute a $0.70 per share dividend on February 15, to shareholders of record on January 31. 

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) published its Q4 results on January 19, posting earnings per share of $2.08, beating estimates by $0.12. Revenue over the period equaled $14.52 billion, missing estimates by $66.39 million. The stock climbed 2.7% after the Q4 earnings beat and when Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) boosted its target for the return on tangible common equity to over 20%. 

Barclays analyst Jason Goldberg raised the price target on Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) to $123 from $110 and kept an Overweight rating on the shares on January 3. The analyst expects bank stocks to continue to outperform the market in 2022. He expects loan growth to accelerate and net interest margins to benefit from higher interest rates.

Among the hedge funds tracked by Insider Monkey, Eagle Capital Management is the largest Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) stakeholder, with over 15 million shares worth $1.46 billion. Overall, 65 hedge funds were bullish on the stock in the third quarter of 2021. 

Here is what Artisan Value Fund has to say about Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) in its Q3 2021 investor letter:

“Morgan Stanley, a leading global financial services company, came into the portfolio in late 2020 as a result of its purchase of E*TRADE. The acquisition is a great fit for Morgan Stanley’s wealth management platform and provides a considerable amount of non-interest-bearing deposit funding. James Gorman, chairman and CEO, has steadily de-risked the business by adding less volatile fee streams to complement its leading positions in cyclical businesses such as advisory, equities and FICC (fixed income, currencies and commodities). We believe the company will prove its resiliency and value over the long term.”

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