Morgan Stanley Posts $413m Q409 Profit as Real Estate Gains
Global financial services and asset-management firm Morgan Stanley (MS) posted $413m of income from continuing operations in the fourth quarter of 2009, compared with a loss of $10.5bn in the previous-year period. Net revenue of $6.8bn in Q409 brings the full-year net income to $1.35bn, compared with a net loss of $246m in 2008. Firm-wide results for the full year reflected $1.9bn of net losses on real estate investments "amidst the ongoing industry-wide decline in this market," Morgan Stanley said in the earnings statement. Investment gains in the firm's institutional securities division were $61m in the quarter, compared with year-ago losses of $1.85bn, driven primarily by gains on real estate investments. The increased gains drove full-year 2009 investment losses to $900m, compared with $2.7bn losses in the previous year. Morgan Stanley's asset management division saw a pre-tax loss of $55m in the quarter, despite net revenues in the Merchant Banking unit of $153m, driven by principal investment gains the real estate business. Write to Diana Golobay. Disclosure: The author holds no relevant investment positions.