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Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley Reports Strong First-Quarter Performance, Beats Estimates

New York, April 16, 2024, The Europe Today: Morgan Stanley, the renowned Wall Street investment bank, exceeded expectations with its first-quarter earnings on Tuesday, driven by robust growth in investment banking and wealth management sectors, resulting in a 3.7% surge in shares.

The bank’s investment banking revenue soared by 16% compared to the previous year, buoyed by increased bond issuance that bolstered fixed-income underwriting for a second consecutive quarter. Additionally, the wealth and investment management divisions experienced notable growth, benefitting from a surge in client assets.

Analyst Chris Kotowski of Oppenheimer hailed the quarter as “excellent all around,” likening Morgan Stanley’s performance to the stellar results delivered by rival Goldman Sachs a day earlier.

Morgan Stanley reported a profit of $2.02 per share, surpassing analysts’ average estimate of $1.66, according to data from LSEG. Total revenue climbed to $15.14 billion, up from $14.5 billion a year earlier.

During the earnings call, CEO Ted Pick emphasized the building momentum in investment banking, particularly in M&A and underwriting across corporate and financial sponsor clients. Pick anticipates the onset of a “multi-year M&A cycle” spanning 3 to 5 years, driven in part by geopolitical risks that may incentivize more deal-making.

Pick highlighted the attractiveness of the U.S. market amid global economic dynamics, noting a desire among businesses to increase exposure to the U.S. amidst weaker conditions in China and parts of Europe. He also underscored the financial sponsors’ imperative to execute deals, divest private companies, and return capital to investors.

Morgan Stanley’s CFO Sharon Yeshaya attributed the increased activity in investment banking to surging equity markets and successful initial public offerings (IPOs), which positively impact the advisory business.

The performance of Morgan Stanley echoes the strong showing of other major financial institutions, with Goldman Sachs posting a 28% profit increase on Monday driven by higher fees from leading large deals and successful trading outcomes. JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup also reported rising activity, particularly in debt and equity capital markets.

Institutional securities division revenue at Morgan Stanley, encompassing investment banking, equities, and fixed income, climbed to $7 billion from $6.8 billion a year earlier. Fixed income trading revenue declined by 4%, while equities rose by 4%.

The impressive results from Morgan Stanley underscore the resilience and adaptability of major financial institutions amid evolving market conditions, positioning the bank for continued growth and leadership in the global financial landscape.