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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 February 2019

Morgan Stanley adds to US bank optimism as profit doubles

Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and their peers have already reported more than $111 billion of profit for 2018

Morgan Stanley HQ in New York. US banks are surging. AP
Morgan Stanley HQ in New York. US banks are surging. AP

Morgan Stanley's fourth-quarter profit more than doubled from a year earlier when it recorded a $1 billion tax charge due to changes in the U.S. tax law.

Net income applicable to Morgan Stanley jumped to $1.53 billion, or 80 cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended December 31, from $643 million, or 26 cents per share, a year earlier.

On an adjusted basis, the bank earned 73 cents per share, compared with 84 cents per share a year ago, Reuters said.

Analysts on average were looking for 89 cents per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. It was not immediately clear if the numbers were comparable.

The results come as Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan and their peers have already reported more than $111 billion of profit for 2018, according to Bloomberg. Morgan Stanley makes that number bigger.

They have Republican tax cuts to thank, along with rising interest rates, a surge in deal making and a retail-banking boom.

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Read more:

Bank of America tops profit estimates

JPMorgan to increase bonuses for bankers and traders

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JPMorgan and Bank of America both had record years, while Goldman Sachs and Citigroup had their biggest hauls since the financial crisis. The impressive numbers and upbeat commentary from bank leaders may quell fears that rate hikes and trade wars risk bringing an end to good times for the biggest lenders.

“Is it the end of a cycle? We don’t think so,” JPMorgan chief financial officer Marianne Lake said Tuesday. “We think the outlook for growth in the economy is still strong. The consumer is still strong and healthy, and we’re expecting to see, maybe slower, but still global growth going forward.”

Updated: January 17, 2019 04:44 PM

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