By Peter Rudegeair 

Morgan Stanley said Friday that first-quarter profit more than doubled from a year earlier, another Wall Street firm that reaped big gains from the euphoric market conditions of early 2021.

The New York-based bank reported profit of $4.1 billion, or $2.19 a share, on revenue of $15.7 billion. That beat the consensus estimates of analysts polled by FactSet of per-share earnings of $1.72 on revenue of $14.1 billion.

Morgan Stanley rounded out an all-time great first quarter from the nation's big banks. Asset prices rallied, millions of investors traded stocks with abandon and scores of technology and special-purpose acquisition companies listed their shares publicly, creating an optimal environment for banks' Wall Street divisions. On Wednesday, Morgan Stanley rival Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reported record quarterly revenue and net income.

The same waves that lifted Goldman also lifted Morgan Stanley. Stock- and bond-trading revenue rose 29% to $5.8 billion. Fees from advising on deals and underwriting stock and bond offerings more than doubled to $2.6 billion.

Morgan Stanley's E*Trade business also benefited from the burst of trading activity among individual investors. The number of retail-trading clients at Morgan Stanley increased 7% from the end of 2020 to 7.2 million, and the average daily number of retail trades the company handled for the quarter exceeded 1.6 million.

Write to Peter Rudegeair at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 16, 2021 08:08 ET (12:08 GMT)

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