Morgan Stanley profit tops expectations

Morgan Stanley reported a fourth-quarter profit, compared with a year-earlier loss, as its legal costs plunged and compensation expenses fell.

The Wall Street bank reported earnings of $753 million, or 39 cents per share, applicable to common shareholders compared with a loss of $1.75 billion, or 91 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue for the quarter came in at $7.7 billion.

Wall Street forecast Morgan Stanley would deliver 33 cents a share in adjusted earnings and revenue of $7.59 billion, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

Last week, Citigroup and Wells Fargo topped earnings estimates, but both stocks dropped as revenue missed expectations.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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