Jan 18 - Excluding an accounting charge, Morgan Stanley earned $894 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, compared with a loss a year earlier. Conway G. Gittens reports.
The Daily Digit today is $894 million. This is how much Morgan Stanley made in the fourth quarter of last year. The number excludes an accounting charge related to changes in the value of the bank's debt, and works out to a profit of 45 cents a share. That's a complete turnaround from the same time the prior year when the bank lost 20 cents a share. The Wall Street bank's global wealth management business was a front-runner in bringing in the money, providing more revenue and pretax earnings in the quarter than investment banking and asset management. Profits from wealth management topped analysts' forecasts - a good thing for Morgan Stanley Chief Executive James Gorman; he's staking the bank's rebound on wealth management, arguing that group produces more stable returns and will offset volatility on other units. Also boosting the bottom line - layoffs and compensation cuts. Employee compensation fell 4 percent last year as the bank cut nearly 5,000 jobs.