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


James Gorman, chief executive officer of Morgan Stanley, speaks during a Bloomberg Television interview on day three of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019.

Simon Dawson | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Morgan Stanley 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

“The Firm delivered another very strong quarter, with robust revenues and improved efficiency,” CEO James 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.”

Here’s what Wall Street expected:

Earnings: $1.68 a share, 1.5% higher than a year earlier, according to Refinitiv

Revenue: $14 billion, 20% higher than a year earlier

Wealth management: $6.18 billion, according to StreetAccount

Trading: Equities $2.32 billion, Fixed Income $1.53 billion

Investment Banking: $2.17 billion

Morgan Stanley is well positioned for the moment.

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.

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.

Finally, CEO James Gorman has fashioned his bank into a top money management player through a series of savvy acquisitions, and those businesses should benefit from high stock values in the quarter.

Shares of the bank have climbed 44% this year, exceeding 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.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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