Morgan Stanley profits plummet by 50%

Morgan Stanley earnings

Morgan Stanley’s first-quarter earnings beat analyst expectations, despite a massive decline in profit. 

The firm reported diluted earnings per share of $0.55 on revenue of $7.88 billion.

Analysts had called for earnings per share of $0.47 on revenue of $7.76 billion.

During the same quarter of last year, Morgan Stanley reported diluted earnings of $1.18 on revenue of $9.91 billion.

Net income was down 54% to $1.1 billion compared to $2.4 billion last year. 

The first quarter was characterized by challenging market conditions and muted client activity,” said CEO James Gorman in a statement. “Against that backdrop, our businesses delivered stable results.”

“While we see some signs of market recovery, global uncertainties continue to weigh on investor activity. We remain focused on executing against our priorities, helping clients navigate difficult markets while controlling our expenses and managing risk prudently,” he added.

Here are some of the company’s numbers for Q1:

  • Trading revenues were $2.69 billion for the quarter (versus $2.65 billion expected).
  • Fixed-income sales and trading revenues came in at $873 million (versus $791 million expected).
  • Equity sales and trading revenues were $2.1 billion ($1.86 billion expected).
  • Investment banking revenue came in at $990 million for the quarter (versus $982 million expected).

Revenues in wealth management, which is usually Morgan Stanley’s strongest division, were $3.67 billion, down 4% from $3.83 billion in the year-ago quarter.