Morgan Stanley's Earnings Rise as Wealth Management Grows

By Liz Hoffman Features Dow Jones Newswires

Morgan Stanley said its third-quarter profit rose to $1.78 billion as the firm's giant wealth-management business continues to churn out reliable profits.

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The Wall Street firm reported earnings of 93 cents a share versus analyst expectations of 81 cents a share. Revenue of $9.2 billion was up from $8.91 billion a year ago and beat analyst expectations of $9.02 billion.

Rivals including J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. last week reported profit increases powered by commercial lending and credit cards. Morgan Stanley instead leans on its wealth management division, which oversees $2.2 trillion for some 3.5 million American households, to steady its earnings.

The smallest of Wall Street's big six banks, Morgan Stanley is in the late innings of a multiyear transformation under Chief Executive James Gorman, who has steered it away from lumpy, error-prone trading and toward steadier advisory and asset-management businesses.

Morgan Stanley's return on equity, a key measure of how profitably it invests shareholders' money, stood at 9.6% in the quarter. Mr. Gorman has targeted a minimum of 9% by the end of the year.

Write to Liz Hoffman at liz.hoffman@wsj.com

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(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 17, 2017 07:15 ET (11:15 GMT)