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Morgan Earnings Stink, But Retail Brokerage Bright Spot

Morgan Earnings Stink, But Retail Brokerage Bright Spot

Morgan Stanley reported ugly second-quarter earnings last week, but with one bright spot: retail brokerage.

Poor trading results in credit, commodities and equities were largely responsible for a 57-percent drop in earnings to $1 billion in the second quarter from $2.3 billion in the same quarter a year ago.

Bernstein analyst Brad Hintz called it “a most disappointing quarter” in his Friday research note. But not for retail brokerage, “the sole area of strength in the quarter,” wrote Hintz. Net revenues in global wealth management were $2.4 billion in the quarter, up 52 percent from the first quarter. Excluding the sale of a Spanish wealth management business, revenues were $1.7 billion, but that’s still 5 percent better than the previous quarter and 4 percent better than the same time last year. And, as Hintz points out, another number was particularly impressive in the current investing environment: $13.3 billion in net new client assets. (To read the Morgan Stanley press release, click here. )

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