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Morgan Stanley swings to profit in Q1

  • Morgan Stanley reported a first quarter profit of $958 million on Thursday, compared with a loss of $119 million last year. Revenue from its wealth management group made up for a decline in its fixed income and commodities trading unit.

    Excluding a one-off charge related to changes in the value of its debt, Morgan Stanley recorded a profit of $1.2 billion for the quarter, down from $1.4 billion last year. Excluding the charges, total revenue was down 4.8 percent to $8.5 billion, above analysts' expectations of $8.35 billion.

    Meanwhile, earnings from its wealth management business made up 41 percent of the bank's total revenue, increasing by 5.4 percent to $3.47 billion.

    In recent years, the American bank has shifted its focus towards wealth management as a more stable source of growth.

    However, revenue from the bank's fixed income and commodities trading unit was down to $1.5 billion compared to $2.6 billion a year earlier. The decrease reflects the depreciation in commodities and rates.

    Despite the overall strong figures, investors appeared to be unimpressed as shares in Morgan Stanley dropped 4.33 percent in afternoon trading.