Morgan Stanley - A miss, but CEO bullish

Morgan Stanley building

Morgan Stanley reported profit that missed estimates as fixed-income trading revenue fell more than some analysts expected.

Bloomberg News reports that fourth-quarter net income rose to $1.04 billion from $84 million, a year earlier, the firm said Tuesday in a statement. Excluding one-time items, profit was 40 cents a share, compared with the 50-cent average estimate of 14 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Fixed-income trading revenue fell 14% to $599 million, excluding some charges, the lowest quarterly amount since the financial crisis. CEO James Gorman, 56, has seen his firm’s revenue from that business drop to less than half what it was in 2006 as he seeks to cut the amount of capital the unit requires.

'Morgan Stanley isn’t immune from the overall trend of a difficult trading environment' even if their trading operations are smaller, Devin Ryan, an analyst at JMP Group Inc., said before results were announced. 'There was pressure on credit-trading revenue broadly'.

Morgan Stanley Misses Estimates on Drop in Bond-Trading Revenue

Gorman said: 'We finished 2014 in substantially better shape than we entered the year. We delivered strong results across several of our businesses, although overall performance was affected by the choppy market conditions of the fourth quarter.

'We also addressed a number of items that, while affecting our results in the short term, position us well in the years ahead. Entering 2015, we remain confident about our business mix, market position and the opportunities ahead of us'.

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