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Morgan Stanley: Q2 profit down - but better than expected

( - On Tuesday, Morgan Stanley reported a 12% drop in Q2 profit, although this beat the consensus, in particular due to large severance payments linked to redundancies.

Net income attributable to the US financial group came in at nearly $2.2bn, or $1.24 per share, for the quarter to 30 June, above the consensus figure of $1.15 per share.

A year ago, net profit income, group share came to $2.5bn, or $1.39 per share.

The banking group points out that its accounts for the past quarter include redundancy costs of $308m, mainly at its "Institutional Securities" divisions (investment banking, equities trading and bonds) ($207m) and wealth management ($78m).

Net revenues rose to $13.5bn, compared with $13.1bn a year ago.

Quoted in a press release, James P. Gorman, the Group's CEO, referred to "solid" results, despite a market environment deemed "difficult". He said that the quarter began with economic uncertainty and sluggish activity amongst its customers, although ended on a more constructive note.

Morgan Stanley says that its wealth management and investment management divisions attracted $100bn in net new money over the quarter, bringing the amount of new assets raised since the start of the year to over $200bn.

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