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Morgan Stanley reports 60% rise in Q1 profit, hikes dividend 50%

Morgan Stanley reports 60% rise in Q1 profit, hikes dividend 50%

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) rose in morning trading after the owner of the world's largest brokerage reported a 60 percent rise in quarterly profit and raised its dividend by 50 percent to 15 cents per share.

Shares rose 1.4 percent to $37.23 at 9:38 a.m. in New York, paring this year’s slump to 4.2 percent

Net income rose to $2.31 billion, or $1.18 per share, in the January-to-March quarter, from $1.45 billion, or $0.74 per share, a year earlier, the New York-based company said in a statement today.

Excluding items, earnings were $1.14 per share, beating the $0.78 average estimate

On a per-share basis, Morgan Stanley’s profit was $1.18, or 85 cents when stripping out accounting adjustments. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected earnings of 78 cents a share.

Revenue rose 10.3 percent to $9.78 billion excluding accounting adjustments, its highest quarterly total in nearly eight years and its second highest ever, according to the company. Analysts had projected $9.17 billion.

“This was our strongest quarter in many years with improved performance across most areas of the firm,” chief executive officer James Gorman said in the statement.

Trading revenue was $4.08 billion in the quarter, up 26 percent from $3.24 billion in the same period a year ago. At rival Goldman Sachs Group, first-quarter trading revenue rose 23 percent.

Morgan Stanley, the last big U.S. bank to report for the quarter, is focusing less on bond markets and more on managing money for the rich as a way to free up capital and comply with stricter regulatory requirements since the financial crisis.

Revenue from investment banking totaled $1.17 billion in the first quarter, a 3.3 percent increase from $1.14 billion in the first quarter of 2014.

Revenue in Morgan Stanley’s wealth-management arm rose to $3.83 billion from $3.61 billion last year.






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