A Comparison of Top Movers: Morgan Stanley (MS), Halliburton Company (HAL)

The shares of Morgan Stanley have decreased by more than -0.15% this year alone. The shares recently went up by 1.93% or $0.99 and now trades at $52.39. The shares of Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL), has jumped by 6.47% year to date as of 05/07/2018. The shares currently trade at $52.03 and have been able to report a change of -1.81% over the past one week.

The stock of Morgan Stanley and Halliburton Company were two of the most active stocks on Monday. Investors seem to be very interested in what happens to the stocks of these two companies but do investors favor one over the other? We will analyze the growth, profitability, risk, valuation, and insider trends of both companies and see which one investors prefer.

Next 5Y EPS Growth: 17.74% versus 20.40%

When a company is able to grow consistently in terms of earnings at a high compound rate have the highest likelihood of creating value for its shareholders over time. Analysts have predicted that MS will grow it’s earning at a 17.74% annual rate in the next 5 years. This is in contrast to HAL which will have a positive growth at a 20.40% annual rate. This means that the higher growth rate of HAL implies a greater potential for capital appreciation over the years.

Profitability and Returns

Growth alone cannot be used to see if the company will be valuable. Shareholders will be the losers if a company invest in ventures that aren’t profitable enough to support upbeat growth. In order for us to accurately measure profitability and return, we will be using the EBITDA margin and Return on Investment (ROI), which balances the difference in capital structure. MS has an EBITDA margin of 48.66%, this implies that the underlying business of MS is more profitable. The ROI of MS is 1.50% while that of HAL is 5.20%. These figures suggest that HAL ventures generate a higher ROI than that of MS.

Cash Flow

The value of a stock is ultimately determined by the amount of cash flow that the investors have available. Over the last 12 months, MS’s free cash flow per share is a positive 0, while that of HAL is negative -0.42.

Liquidity and Financial Risk

The ability of a company to meet up with its short-term obligations and be able to clear its longer-term debts is measured using Liquidity and leverage ratios. The debt ratio of MS is 5.93 compared to 1.30 for HAL. MS can be able to settle its long-term debts and thus is a lower financial risk than HAL.


MS currently trades at a forward P/E of 10.24, a P/B of 1.33, and a P/S of 2.05 while HAL trades at a forward P/E of 15.46, a P/B of 5.44, and a P/S of 2.08. This means that looking at the earnings, book values and sales basis, MS is the cheaper one. It is very obvious that earnings are the most important factors to investors, thus analysts are most likely to place their bet on the P/E.

Analyst Price Targets and Opinions

The mistake some people make is that they think a cheap stock has more value to it. In order to know the value of a stock, there is need to compare its current price to its likely trading price in the future. The price of MS is currently at a -15.27% to its one-year price target of 61.83. Looking at its rival pricing, HAL is at a -15.04% relative to its price target of 61.24.

When looking at the investment recommendation on say a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being a strong buy, 3 a hold, and 5 a sell), MS is given a 2.30 while 1.80 placed for HAL. This means that analysts are more bullish on the outlook for MS stocks.

Insider Activity and Investor Sentiment

Short interest or otherwise called the percentage of a stock’s tradable shares currently being shorted is another data that investors use to get a handle on sentiment. The short ratio for MS is 0.95 while that of HAL is just 2.28. This means that analysts are more bullish on the forecast for MS stock.


The stock of Halliburton Company defeats that of Morgan Stanley when the two are compared, with HAL taking 6 out of the total factors that were been considered. HAL happens to be more profitable, generates a higher ROI, has higher cash flow per share, higher liquidity and has a lower financial risk. When looking at the stock valuation, HAL is the cheaper one on an earnings, book value and sales basis. Finally, the sentiment signal for HAL is better on when it is viewed on short interest.

Previous ArticleNext Article

Related Post

Which Market Offer More Value? – Annaly Capi... The shares of Annaly Capital Management, Inc. have decreased by more than -12.03% this year alone. The shares recently went up by 0.48% or $0.05 and n...
Which of these 2 stocks can turn out to be absolut... The shares of Flowserve Corporation have increased by more than 13.51% this year alone. The shares recently went up by 2.14% or $1 and now trades at $...
Uncovering the next great stocks: Web.com Group, I... The shares of Web.com Group, Inc. have increased by more than 7.57% this year alone. The shares recently went up by 11.40% or $2.4 and now trades at $...
Set Sail With Juniper Networks, Inc. (JNPR), Newel... The shares of Juniper Networks, Inc. have decreased by more than -14.56% this year alone. The shares recently went down by -0.37% or -$0.09 and now tr...
Should You Buy GATX Corporation (GATX) or Aircastl... GATX Corporation (NYSE:GATX) shares are up more than 6.97% this year and recently decreased -0.11% or -$0.07 to settle at $66.49. Aircastle Limited (N...