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Morgan Stanley beats 3Q estimates as bond trading revenue surges

The New York bank posted $10.1 billion in revenue, a surprise increase amid a difficult quarter for some Wall Street firms

Morgan Stanley - Morgan Stanley beats 3Q estimates as bond trading revenues surge
The New York bank called it the best third quarter for revenue in a decade

Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) reported third-quarter results Thursday that beat Wall Street analysts' estimates on the back of higher revenue from bond trading and M&A advisory fees. 

For the third quarter ended September 30, the New York bank posted earnings of $1.21 per share on revenue of $13.2 billion. The consensus earnings estimate was $1.10 per share on revenue of $9.7 billion. Revenue grew 4.8% on a year-over-year basis.

Investors responded well, sending shares in Morgan Stanley nearly 3.7% higher to $44.35.

READ: Morgan Stanley reiterates $247 price target on Apple, sees App Store growth outperforming

In a statement accompanying the US bank’s latest numbers, Morgan Stanley Chief Executive Officer James Gorman said: “We delivered strong quarterly earnings despite the typical summer slowdown and volatile markets.”

US banks largely beat low-key expectations in a quarter that was clouded by trade tensions and worries of an economic slowdown that forced the US Federal Reserve to cut interest rates twice.

Morgan Staley boss Gorman has helped to diversify the bank’s focus on trading and advisory businesses with his emphasis on wealth management, but the bank still has sizable Wall Street operations.

The bank’s bond-trading desks in particular, exceeded expectations, posting $1.43 billion in third-quarter revenue, a 21% increase and $320 million more than what analysts had estimated. The unit, which has historically been an underperformer, cited strong activity in credit and government bonds in the quarter.

Contact Uttara Choudhury at [email protected]

Follow her on Twitter: @UttaraProactive 

Quick facts: Morgan Stanley

Price: 47.51 USD

Market: NYSE
Market Cap: $74.86 billion

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