Friday April 20, 2012

Morgan Stanley beats estimates on strong trading

NEW YORK: Morgan Stanley's first-quarter results beat expectations, as trading revenue rose sharply and the bank's wealth management business began to improve, sending its shares up in pre-market trading yesterday.

Wall Street banks have had a good first quarter as capital markets activity returned after a dismal 2011. In the past few days, rivals Goldman Sachs Group Inc, Citigroup Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co have all said they have benefited from the rebound in capital markets.

But Morgan Stanley's rebound surpassed these rivals, posting higher trading revenue even over the first quarter of last year a benchmark by which others have fallen short.

Still, the bank lost money during the first quarter because an accounting rule cost it US$2bil.

The Wall Street investment bank reported a loss of US$119mil, or 6 cents per share, compared with a profit of US$736mil, or 50 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.

Net revenue totalled US$6.9bil. Excluding debt valuation adjustment, revenue was US$8.9bil, up from US$7.8bil a year earlier. Reuters

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