Earnings excluding items came in at 61 cents per share, reversing a 6-cent per share loss in the year-earlier period.
Revenue improved to $8.475 billion from $6.94 billion a year ago.
Analysts had expected the company to report earnings excluding items of 57 cents a share on $8.35 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.
"In global wealth management, our operating pre-tax profit was the highest in our history, and we look forward to completing the acquisition of the remaining 35 percent of our wealth management joint venture once we have obtained full regulatory approval," James P. Gorman, chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement.
Earnings season has been a mixed bag for the big banks. This week Bank of America earnings fell short of Wall Street expectations while Citigroup beat on both profit and revenue. Wells Fargo beat on earnings last week but revenue was light, and JPMorgan Chase topped profit forecasts though net revenue fell.