Morgan Stanley Looking at New High After Earnings


Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2012 results before markets opened this morning. The bank reported adjusted diluted quarterly earnings per share (EPS) of $0.28 on revenues of $7 billion. In the same period a year ago, Morgan Stanley reported an adjusted EPS loss of $0.13 on revenues of $5.7 billion. This morning's results also compare to the consensus estimates for EPS of $0.27 on revenues of $7.02 billion.

For the full year, the bank reported a net loss of $0.03 per share on revenues of $26.1 billion. A year ago the company reported EPS of $1.26 on revenues of $32.2 billion. The consensus estimate called for a net loss of $0.04 per share on revenues of $26.97 billion.

The bank's CEO said:

After a year of significant challenges, Morgan Stanley has reached a pivot point. We demonstrated meaningful progress in our Wealth Management Joint Venture, reaching the highest pre-tax margin since the inception of the JV.

The JV in question is what used to be called Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, a partnership with Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) that Morgan Stanley now controls after a fight with Citi over the brokerage's valuation. Citi wrote down $2.9 billion on the deal, and it probably helped hasten former Citi CEO Vikram Pandit's exit.

Morgan Stanley shares are up about 7% in premarket trading this morning, at $22.30, which would be a new 52-week high if it holds. The current range is $12.26 to $21.19. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $21.00 before today's results were announced.

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Banking & Finance, Earnings Tagged: C, MS