Morgan Stanley reported earnings this morning, and the bank just beat analyst estimates with net revenue coming in at $US8.61 billion and earnings per share hitting $US0.60.
Analysts estimated that the bank’s revenue would come in at $US8.19 billion with an earnings per share of about $US0.56.
The bank posted a profit of $US1.94 billion, compared with a year-earlier profit of $US980 million
What everyone’s looking at this quarter is trading revenue, which has wilted all over Wall Street since the market got quiet at the beginning of the quarter.
At Morgan Stanley, trading revenue was expected to come in at $US2.61 billion, down 12% from this time last year.
The number that came in was $US2.5 billion — not great, but not death either.
“Our quarterly results demonstrated solid performance, despite a muted operating environment,” said CEO James Gorman. “We are seeing momentum across our businesses, with particular strength in Investment Banking, Equity Sales & Trading and Wealth Management — where profit margins hit 21% for the first time since the founding of the JV and assets entrusted to us by clients reached $US2 trillion. We also continued to be disciplined on expenses, while focusing on delivering higher returns.”
Thing is, since the financial crisis, Morgan Stanley has pivoted its business toward wealth management — once considered a more boring part of the business. But boring is in right now, and that change proven profitable for the bank.
Last quarter the bank’s wealth management division brought in $US3.5 billion. This quarter that number increased to $US3.7 billion.