Morgan Stanley Reports Higher Revenue

Morgan Stanley said its fourth-quarter profit rose, excluding the impact from the new tax law, as its giant wealth-management business continues to churn out reliable profits.

Morgan Stanley, the last of the big Wall Street firms to give its quarterly numbers, reported net income of $686 million, or 29 cents a share. Revenue rose to $9.5 billion from $9.02 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Excluding a tax provision of nearly $1 billion, Morgan Stanley earned $1.7 billion, or 84 cents a share, up from $1.5 billion, or 74 cents a share, a year ago.

Analysts had expected earnings of 77 cents a share, excluding the impact from the new tax law, which has hit each of the big banks to varying degrees.

Morgan Stanley's closest rival, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., on Wednesday reported core profits that were slightly higher than 2016, as strength in investment banking and lending overcame continued problems in its trading arm. The two firms have similar footprints in investment banking and trading, and are old rivals in these core Wall Street activities.

Morgan Stanley's X-Factor increasingly is its giant retail brokerage, which oversees $2.3 trillion for some 3.5 million American households. This business gets most of its revenue from steady fees, assessed as a percentage of client portfolios whose value has marched higher with the stock market.

Write to Liz Hoffman at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 18, 2018 07:21 ET (12:21 GMT)