Morgan Stanley CEO Buys Over $2 Million in Company Stock (MS)

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Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) has sold off enough!  That is what the company CEO is saying, and he’s putting his money where is mouth is.  A Form-4 SEC filing this morning shows that James Gorman spent more than $2 million dollars in open market transactions to purchase Morgan Stanley shares.

The purchase was 100,000 and this was put an average (VWAP) price of $20.6207 per Morgan Stanley share.  The shares were purchased in multiple transactions at prices ranging from $20.555 to $20.73 and the date of the transaction is today’s date of August 4.

This takes his direct ownership to 854,393 shares, plus another 977 shares in a 401/K, plus another 100,000 listed as “By Grantor Retained Annuity Trust” in the filing.

Morgan Stanley shares are still down 3.4% at $20.30 this morning and the daily low is only $20.22.  The 52-week range is close to being breached as well as the range is $20.18 to $31.04.

If you go to Morgan Stanley’s earnings release from July, book values were noted as follows: “At June 30, 2011, book value and tangible book value per common share were $30.17 and $26.61, respectively, based on 1.9 billion shares outstanding. Book value and tangible book value per common share were reduced by approximately $2.29 and $1.41, respectively, due to the increase in period end common shares outstanding resulting from the MUFG preferred stock conversion.”

Unfortunately, book value are a ceiling rather than a floor right now.  With all of the debt downgrade woes and with the drop in the markets, the market thinks these book values are likely to fall rather than rise.


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