Morgan Stanley yearly earnings soar
Investment bank Morgan Stanley (MS) reported income of $4.5 billion, or $2.44 a share, for 2010, led primarily by growth in its advisory and underwriting businesses. "Our asset management business also delivered significantly improved performance this year, as we refocused the business around our core strengths, hired key talent and addressed legacy issues," said CEO James Gorman. Asset management revenues hit $2.7 billion in 2010. Full-year revenue rose 35% to $31.6 billion from $23.4 billion in 2009, when the company reported a loss of $907 million, or 77 cents a share, including revenue and expenses "related to legacy Smith Barney operations, that were incremental to the firm’s financial results subsequent to the closing on May 31, 2009." Morgan Stanley also said the results for the year include about $1 billion, or 65 cents a share, "associated with discrete tax gains." Net revenue for the fourth quarter rose to $7.8 billion from $6.8 billion a year earlier. Quarterly results include negative revenue of $945 million, or 36 cents a share, from debt-related credit spreads, down from $5.5 billion in 2009. Compensation expenses of $16 billion increased from $14.4 billion a year ago related to the U.K. government's payroll tax on 2009 discretionary bonuses. Write to Jacob Gaffney. Follow him on Twitter @JacobGaffney.