U.S. banks are still dealing with the fallout of the financial crisis more than half a decade after it began. JPMorgan on Tuesday reported results that were impacted by legal expenses and Citigroup said Thursday that it had $800 million in legal costs in the fourth quarter and that it expected those kinds of expenses to continue for the industry.
Morgan Stanley's revenue rose 9 percent to $8.2 billion from $7.5 billion in the fourth quarter, beating analysts' forecasts of $8.02 billion.
"Our fourth-quarter results demonstrated the consistency embedded in our business model, as revenues increased year-over-year in all three of our business segments," James Gorman, the bank's CEO, said in prepared remarks. "Importantly, we are continuing to address many of the legal issues from the financial crisis."
IPO BOOST: Revenue at Morgan Stanley's Institutional Securities unit edged higher to $3.7 billion from $3.6 billion a year ago, boosted by a big increase in stock underwriting as the market for initial public offerings improved. Bond underwriting fees fell slightly as investment-grade bond sales declined.
In line with other big banks that reported earnings this week, Morgan Stanley said revenue from its bond trading business fell.
THE WEALTH FACTOR: Morgan Stanley's wealth management unit brought in more fees, and clients moved more assets to the bank. Morgan Stanley has been building out its wealth management business to reduce its reliance on trading and sales revenues.
STOCK REACTION: Morgan Stanley's stock rose 40 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $32.80 in pre-market trading.