NEW YORK -- Investment bank Morgan Stanley said Thursday that its first-quarter income rose 18 percent from a year ago, helped by higher earnings in its trading and merger and acquisitions advisory businesses.
Morgan Stanley earned $1.4 billion, up from $1.2 billion in the same period a year ago. The figures exclude accounting adjustments related to the value of the bank's debt.
Contact information ( * required )
The earnings were equivalent to 68 cents per share. That easily beat the 61 cents per share analysts were expecting, according to FactSet, a financial data provider.
Revenue from continuing operations was $8.8 billion, ahead of the $8.5 billion analysts had expected.
All major segments of Morgan Stanley's business increased.
Institutional securities, the name of Morgan Stanley's trading, M&A advisory and stock sales division, grew the most. That division earned $1.2 billion versus $1.1 billion a year ago. The firm's fixed-income and commodities division reported a larger-than-expected rise in revenues this quarter: $1.7 billion from $1.5 billion a year ago.
Wealth management, which includes Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, had pretax income of $691 million versus $597 million a year ago.
The firm also announced it would buy back $1 billion of its own stock as well as increase its quarterly dividend to 10 cents per share. Morgan Stanley's stock rose $1.01, or 3.4 percent, to $30.80 in premarket trading.