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Morgan Stanley: investment banking disappoints

( - Morgan Stanley reported better-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday, thanks to the strength of its wealth management business, although warned that its investment banking division remained "held back" by the current economic environment.

All said, the US banking group's net profit fell to $2.98bn in the first three months of the year from $3.66 billion a year ago.

Fully diluted EPS was $1.70 compared with $2.02 a year earlier, ahead of analysts' expectations of an average of $1.625.

Quarterly net banking income fell to $14.5bn from $14.8bn a year earlier, compared with consensus expectations of $13.9bn.

Wealth management revenue jumped to $6.6bn from $5.9bn, helped by $110bn in new assets under management in the quarter.

However, investment banking revenue fell to $1.2bn from $1.6bn a year earlier, due to a lack of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and initial public offerings (IPOs).

In pre-market trading, Morgan Stanley shares were down almost 3% on Wednesday morning following these announcements.

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