Morgan Stanley beats, trading delivers strong results despite ‘subdued environment’

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Morgan Stanley’s chairman and CEO, James Gorman.
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Morgan Stanley beat Wall Street estimates for second-quarter earnings, following the trend set by its peers.

The bank delivered earnings of $0.87 a share, up from $0.75 in the second quarter of 2016 and ahead of the $0.76 expected by analysts.

“Our second-quarter results demonstrated the resilience of our franchise in a subdued trading environment,” CEO and chairman James Gorman said in a statement.

Each of the key business lines at the bank posted increased revenue, with revenue more broadly holding remarkably steady.

In particular, the bank posted only a small drop in fixed-income trading revenue, in contrast to sharp declines at Goldman Sachs and elsewhere.

Here’s what you need to know:

    The bank delivered net revenue of $9.5 billion, up from $8.9 billion a year ago. Net revenue increased in each of the three key business lines: institutional securities, wealth management, and investment management. Institutional securities, which houses sales and trading and investment banking, generated $4.8 billion in revenue, up from $4.6 billion a year ago, driven by a strong performance in investment banking and in equities trading. Net income for the unit fell slightly to $1.4 billion. Equity sales and trading revenue tipped up, while fixed-income trading revenue dropped slightly. Wealth management posted $4.15 billion in revenue, up from $3.8 billion. The unit had a pretax margin of 25%, delivering net income of $1.1 billion, up from $859 million. Investment management revenue increased to $665 million, up from $583 million. Net income for the unit increased to $142 million.

Morgan Stanley’s results follow a generally strong showing from its peers. Each of the big banks beat estimates, with JPMorgan hauling in record earnings from its commercial banking and asset- and wealth-management units. On Tuesday, Bank of America Merrill Lynch bested Wall Street estimates, with record quarters in global banking and wealth management, while Goldman Sachs beat estimates despite a sharp drop in trading revenue.