Morgan Stanley profits and revenues slide but shares rise as investors still impressed

Hayley Kirton
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Morgan Stanley Reports Q2 Earnings More Than Double From Year Before
Another day, another fall in earnings at a US bank (Source: Getty)

Morgan Stanley failed to bring home the bacon in its most recent quarter, after it revealed today that both profits and revenues had failed to meet last year's standards.

The figures

The banking behemoth reported net income for the three months to June of $1.6bn (£1.2bn), down 12 per cent compared with $1.8bn the year before but up 40 per cent on the last quarter's $1.1bn.

Meanwhile, net revenues decreased to $8.9bn, down nine per cent compared with $9.7bn in the three months to June 2015 but up 14 per cent compared with $7.8bn in the last quarter.

Earnings per share for the most recent quarter were $0.75.

However, investors consoled themselves in the knowledge that it could have been worse, sending shares up 3.2 per cent to $29.10 in pre-market trading.

Why it's interest

The business environment for banking has not been ideal as of late. Not only have lenders had to contend with low interest rates, the global uncertainty resulting from the EU referendum has caused many clients to think twice about what deals they want to be involved in.

So, even though many US banks' earnings have looked bad in black and white this reporting season, share prices have generally still ticked up after the announcements.

As circumstances have effectively placed a cap on the level of revenues banks can expect to bring in, many investors might be keeping a close eye on what companies are doing to keep their costs under control. In the case of Morgan Stanley, total non-interest expenses have fallen eight per cent year-on-year but risen six per cent quarter-on-quarter.

What Morgan Stanley said

"Our results this quarter reflect solid performance in an improved but still fragile environment," said James Gorman, chairman and chief executive of Morgan Stanley. "In the midst of market uncertainty, we maintained our leadership positions across our core franchises and continued our focus on prudent risk management and judicious expense control.

"We remain committed to executing for our clients and delivering on our strategic priorities for our shareholders."

In short

Sticking with the theme of this reporting season, not exactly the best set of results but pretty good given the circumstances.

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