Morgan Stanley beats profit estimates as rising stocks benefit wealth management and fund business


James Gorman, chief executive of Morgan Stanley.

Qilai Shen | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Morgan Stanley is set to report second-quarter earnings before the opening bell on Thursday.

Here’s what Wall Street expects:

  • Earnings: $1.14 a share, 12% lower than a year earlier, according to Refinitiv
  • Revenue: $9.99 billion, 5.8% lower than a year earlier
  • Wealth management: $4.35 billion, according to FactSet
  • Trading: Equities $2.2 billion, fixed Income $1.32 billion

Will the buoyant stock market be enough to lift Morgan Stanley’s results in the second quarter?

Under CEO James Gorman, Morgan Stanley has emphasized its wealth management division, a far steadier business than its trading operations. The brokerage benefits from rising markets as fees typically climb along with assets under management.

But Morgan Stanley still has a sizeable Wall Street trading and advisory business, and that will likely weigh on the bank’s second-quarter results. Morgan Stanley has the biggest stock-trading business among U.S. investment banks.

Shares of the firm have climbed 10% so far this year, trailing the KBW Bank Index and competitors including Goldman Sachs and J.P. Morgan Chase.

The firm said last month that it won permission from the Federal Reserve to increase its quarterly dividend to 35 cents a share from 30 cents and repurchase $6 billion in shares.

Morgan Stanley is the last of the six largest U.S. banks to report second-quarter earnings. Citigroup, J.P. Morgan, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and Bank of America all beat analysts’ profit expectations as most of the firms benefited from one-time items including a gain on the IPO of electronic trading platform Tradeweb.

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