Morgan Stanley beats estimates on record investment banking and asset management results

Key Points
  • Here are the numbers: Earnings of $1.98 a share vs the $1.68 a share estimate of analysts surveyed Refinitiv.
  • Revenue: $14.75 billion vs. the $14 billion estimate.
  • Shares of the bank rose 1.5%.

In this article

Morgan Stanley reports $14.75 billion in revenue, beats estimates
Morgan Stanley reports $14.75 billion in revenue, beats estimates

Morgan Stanley on Thursday topped expectations for third-quarter profit and revenue as the firm posted record results in investment banking and asset management.

Here are the numbers:

  • Earnings: $1.98 a share vs the $1.68 a share estimate of analysts surveyed Refinitiv
  • Revenue: $14.75 billion vs. the $14 billion estimate

Revenue and net income jumped more than 25% from a year ago, aided by CEO James Gorman's acquisitions of E-Trade and Eaton Vance, which bulked up the firms' wealth and asset management divisions. Shares of the bank rose 1.5%.

"The Firm delivered another very strong quarter, with robust revenues and improved efficiency," Gorman said in the release. "We had standout performance of our integrated investment bank and record net new assets of $135 billion in wealth management."

While rival banks have reported a slowdown in third-quarter fixed income trading revenue, Morgan Stanley's strength has traditionally been in its equities franchise, the biggest in the world.

Equities trading revenue jumped 24% from a year earlier to $2.88 billion, topping the StreetAccount estimate by more than $500 million. Fixed income revenue dropped 16% to $1.64 billion, edging out the $1.53 billion estimate.

Another area that has flourished is investment banking, propelled by robust mergers and IPO activity, and Morgan Stanley is a top player there as well. Rival advisor JPMorgan Chase posted record investment banking fees in the third quarter.

Morgan Stanley's investment banking franchise delivered in the quarter, posting a 67% increase in revenue to a record $2.85 billion, exceeding the StreetAccount estimate by more than $600 million, helped by strong mergers advisory fees.

The firm's massive wealth management division saw revenue jump 28% to $5.94 billion. The increase was driven by record asset management revenues of $3.63 billion, thanks to rising equities values and growing fees from financial advisors. To be sure, revenue from Morgan Stanley's wealth management division was below a StreetAccount forecast of $6.18 billion.

Shares of the bank have climbed 44% this year through Wednesday's close, outpacing the 36% rise of the KBW Bank Index.

JPMorgan topped expectations Wednesday, helped by a $1.5 billion boost from better-than-expected loan losses. Bank of America posted results Thursday that exceeded analysts' expectations, as it benefited from better-than-expected loan losses and record advisory and asset management fees.

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