Morgan Stanley posts record Q1 profit, pushed by stock, bond traders
New York: Wall Street’s top stock traders got some help from their bond brethren.
Morgan Stanley posted a surprise jump in fixed-income trading, which combined with better-than-expected equities results helped push revenue above $11 billion for the first time ever. First-quarter profit, boosted by corporate tax cuts, also rose to an all-time high.
Chief executive officer James Gorman has overseen a recovery in his firm’s bond-trading business even as the industry suffered in recent years from calm markets that cut demand for fixed-income services. Now, rising rates and political uncertainties offer a chance for the unit, led by Sam Kellie-Smith, to boost revenue and catch up to its stock-trading business, which is the world’s biggest.
Shares of the company, which gained 1.5% this year through Tuesday, advanced 1.9% to $54.25 in early New York trading at 7:10 am.
Morgan Stanley used electronic systems to grab the stock-trading business of quantitative hedge funds that have increased assets in recent years. Morgan Stanley president Colm Kelleher said he wants to do the same for bonds.
Investment-banking revenue climbed 7% to $1.51 billion, better than the 1.4% slump that analysts expected, according to estimates compiled by Bloomberg. The New York-based bank was the No. 1 adviser so far this year on mergers and acquisitions, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Bloomberg