Morgan Stanley (MS) earnings beat lifts stock

April 16, 2024 7:38 AM EDT

Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) has reported a notable increase in its first-quarter earnings and revenue, surpassing analyst expectations and prompting a 2% rise in its shares premarket. The financial services firm announced net revenues of $15.1 billion for the quarter ended March 31, 2024, a 4.1% increase from the $14.5 billion reported in the same period last year. Adjusted earnings per share (EPS) reached $2.02, exceeding the analyst estimate of $1.67 by $0.35.

Chief Executive Officer Ted Pick highlighted the firm's robust performance, attributing it to significant growth in client assets across Wealth and Investment Management, which now total $7 trillion, and strengths in Institutional Securities, particularly in Equity and underwriting. "The Morgan Stanley Integrated Firm model is delivering durable results," Pick stated, emphasizing the firm's 20% return on tangible equity and the positive market environment that drove record asset management revenues in Wealth Management.

The firm's Institutional Securities net revenues saw an increase to $7.0 billion compared to $6.8 billion YoY, with pre-tax income rising to $2.4 billion from $1.9 billion. Wealth Management also reported growth with net revenues of $6.9 billion, up from $6.6 billion the previous year, and a pre-tax margin of 26.3%. Investment Management's net revenues improved to $1.4 billion from $1.3 billion YoY, with pre-tax income increasing to $241 million from $166 million.

The positive earnings and revenue beat drove the stock 2% higher, suggesting a measured investor response to the financial results. Morgan Stanley's expense efficiency ratio stood at 71%, reflecting operating leverage in an improving market, while the standardized Common Equity Tier 1 capital ratio was reported at 15.1%.

Looking forward, Morgan Stanley's performance sets a positive tone for the upcoming quarters, with the firm demonstrating the ability to generate growth across its diversified business model. The company's financial health and strategic positioning indicate a continued focus on delivering value to shareholders and clients alike.

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