Morgan Stanley's (NYSE:MS)) market cap declines to US$146b but insiders who sold US$14m stock were able to hedge their losses

·3 min read

Insiders at Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) sold US$14m worth of stock at an average price of US$102 a share over the past year, making the most of their investment. The company’s market cap plunged by US$6.0b after price dropped by 4.0% last week but insiders were able to limit their loss to an extent.

Although we don't think shareholders should simply follow insider transactions, we would consider it foolish to ignore insider transactions altogether.

Check out our latest analysis for Morgan Stanley

The Last 12 Months Of Insider Transactions At Morgan Stanley

The insider, Eric Grossman, made the biggest insider sale in the last 12 months. That single transaction was for US$3.4m worth of shares at a price of US$102 each. We generally don't like to see insider selling, but the lower the sale price, the more it concerns us. The silver lining is that this sell-down took place above the latest price (US$84.77). So it may not shed much light on insider confidence at current levels.

Over the last year we saw more insider selling of Morgan Stanley shares, than buying. The chart below shows insider transactions (by companies and individuals) over the last year. If you want to know exactly who sold, for how much, and when, simply click on the graph below!

insider-trading-volume
insider-trading-volume

I will like Morgan Stanley better if I see some big insider buys. While we wait, check out this free list of growing companies with considerable, recent, insider buying.

Insider Ownership Of Morgan Stanley

Looking at the total insider shareholdings in a company can help to inform your view of whether they are well aligned with common shareholders. We usually like to see fairly high levels of insider ownership. It's great to see that Morgan Stanley insiders own 0.3% of the company, worth about US$368m. I like to see this level of insider ownership, because it increases the chances that management are thinking about the best interests of shareholders.

So What Does This Data Suggest About Morgan Stanley Insiders?

There haven't been any insider transactions in the last three months -- that doesn't mean much. While we feel good about high insider ownership of Morgan Stanley, we can't say the same about the selling of shares. Of course, the future is what matters most. So if you are interested in Morgan Stanley, you should check out this free report on analyst forecasts for the company.

But note: Morgan Stanley may not be the best stock to buy. So take a peek at this free list of interesting companies with high ROE and low debt.

For the purposes of this article, insiders are those individuals who report their transactions to the relevant regulatory body. We currently account for open market transactions and private dispositions, but not derivative transactions.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.

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