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James Gorman, chief executive officer of Morgan Stanley
The bank’s net income rose to $2.7 billion for the quarter, up more than 40 percent year-over-year.
“Relative to peers, Morgan Stanley produced standout results,” Nomura Instinet analyst Steven Chubak wrote in a note to clients Wednesday.
Morgan Stanley’s equity trading revenue increased to $2.6 billion in the period, up 30 percent from a year ago. The bank said it benefited from “higher levels of client activity” during the quarter. In comparison, Goldman Sachs posted equity trading sales of $2.31 billion for the first quarter.
The company’s fixed income, commodities and currencies trading sales rose 12 percent during the quarter, which is a dramatic improvement from the 46 percent revenue decline in its fourth-quarter. Morgan Stanley’s asset management revenues increased to $626 million from $517 million last year.
Other major U.S. banks posted solid results this earnings season, but not as strong as Morgan Stanley.
Goldman Sachs reported better-than-expected results on Tuesday, while J.P. Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup all beat analysts’ earnings per share expectations on Friday. All four bank stocks declined in the first trading session after their results.