Morgan Stanley distances itself from legal charges last year, but misses 4Q expectations

MarketsAssociated Press

Morgan Stanley is reporting a bigger fourth-quarter profit as the investment bank recovers from huge legal expenses last year, but it fell short of Wall Street expectations and shares are sliding before the opening bell.

The bank earned $1.05 billion, or 47 cents a share. That compares with a profit of $95 million, or 2 cents a share, in the same period last year.

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Morgan Stanley's results were impacted by several one-time items and accounting adjustments. Adjusted for one-time items, the bank earned 39 cents a share, well short of the 56 cents per share that analysts were looking for, according to a poll by FactSet.

Revenue was $7.76 billion, down from $7.84 billion last year.

Morgan Stanley shares fell 99 cents, or 3 percent, to $34.89 in premarket trading.