Morgan Stanley Posts $2.7 Billion Third Quarter Profit Thanks To Stocks’ Summer Surge


Morgan Stanley brought a week of Wall Street earning reports to a close on Thursday with third quarter results that exceeded analysts’ expectations for both revenue and profit, even amid the worst economic downturn in decades. 

Key Facts

Morgan Stanley posted a third quarter profit of $2.7 billion compared to $2.2 billion during the same period last year. 

The bank pulled in $11.7 billion in revenue in the third quarter, beating analysts expectations by more than $1 billion. 

Those revenue gains were driven in part by the bank’s trading division, which saw a revenue bump of 20% as the stock market soared over the summer. 

Last week, Morgan Stanley announced that it had agreed to buy asset management firm Eaton Vance for $7 billion in a bid to continue building out its wealth management division, which also saw a bump in revenue in the third quarter. 

Crucial Quote

“We delivered strong quarterly earnings as markets remained active through the summer months, and our balanced business model continued to deliver consistent, high returns,” Morgan Stanley CEO James Gorman said in a statement accompanying the earnings release. 

Key Background

Wall Street’s biggest banks reported their third quarter earnings this week, with several—including JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs, and Citigroup—beating analyst expectations despite the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Like Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan and Goldman also pulled in larger-than-expected profits because of strong results in their trading and wealth management divisions. 

Further Reading

Morgan Stanley’s Eaton Vance Acquisition Could Mean More Asset Management Mergers Are Coming (Forbes)

Goldman Sachs Posts $3.5 Billion Earnings, Smashing Wall Street Expectations As Revenues Surge 30% Mid-Pandemic (Forbes)

Bank Of America Posts $4.9 Billion Profit, Down 16% From Last Year As Big Banks Look Towards Recovery (Forbes)

JPMorgan, Nation’s Largest Bank, Posts $9.4 Billion Profit–Shattering Wall Street Expectations Despite Pandemic (Forbes)

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