Wall Street’s Wildest Dreams

Wall Street’s Wildest Dreams

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  • Morgan Stanley (MS) on Tuesday posted earnings and revenue that beat Wall Street's targets, with strength in its wealth management business helping financial services heavyweight wade choppy market conditions. Shares rose 6% after it reported $1.31 per diluted share on an adjusted basis, well above analysts' estimates of $1.19 per share. 

  • Its wealth management division brought in $6.25 billion in revenue, up 6% from a year ago, leading to a record full-year figure of $24.4 billion. A climb in interest rates and growth in bank lending helped advance net interest income by 11% to $2.32 billion from $2.09 billion a year earlier for the quarter that ended December 31. Interest rates rose as the Federal Reserve quickly pushed up its benchmark interest rate from 0% to an upper range of 4.5% last year.

  • The firm’s investment banking business suffered a big slowdown amid a collapse in IPOs and debt and equity issuance. Revenue from investment banking came to $1.25 billion in the fourth quarter, down 49% from a year ago

Why it matters

Profit has been hurt by a slowdown in deal-making over the past year, prompting the New York-based company cut about 2% of its staff in December. The job reductions impacted about 1,600 of its 81,567 employees and touched nearly every corner of the global investment bank. The firm posted severance costs of $133 million in the latest quarter.


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