Morgan Stanley Focus Drives 60% Profit Increase

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By Jacob Maslow

Morgan Stanley LondonMorgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) is reporting first-quarter earnings that beat the company’s initial forecasts. The company announced earnings per share of $1.18 with revenue of $9.9 billion. The bank was expected to earn far less, with earnings per share estimates of $0.78 and revenue of $9.19 billion. The company even beat foreign earnings per share, estimated to be $0.85.

The company’s CEO, James Gorman, states that this is Morgan Stanley’s strongest performance in many years.

Equity trading was a surprise for the company with revenues in trading up to $2.3 billion, up nearly 35%. Fixed income and commodity trading also rose 11% with revenues of $1.9 billion. Analysts’ forecasts indicated that the company’s commodity trading would fall 6.7% on the year, which is not the case.

The company’s wealth management division is also showing positive signs of growth. During the first quarter, the division accounted for $3.83 billion in revenue with operating profits of $855 million.

Morgan Stanley’s goal is to increase asset management while spending fewer resources on trading.

An area of weakness for the company is the company’s investment bank division, which failed to meet analyst expectations. Revenue for the division was $1.17 billion.

The company’s stock is up 1.12% on the day.

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