Morgan Stanley Mugs Estimates

The first quarter blows Wall Street away.
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Morgan Stanley (MS) - Get Report blew past Wall Street estimates Wednesday as first-quarter revenue rose 29% from a year ago.

For the quarter ended Feb. 28, earnings from continuing operations soared to $2.56 billion, or $2.40 a share, from the year-ago $1.6 billion, or $1.51 a share. Revenue jumped to $11 billion from $8.55 billion a year earlier.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were looking for a profit of $1.88 a share on revenue of $9.42 billion.

Institutional Securities revenue surged 37% from a year ago to $7.6 billion, while pretax income rose 71% to a record $3 billion and return on average common equity was 40%.

Equity sales and trading revenue leaped 36% from a year ago to $2.2 billion, reflecting record revenues in derivatives and Prime Brokerage, two key areas that the company has invested in as part of its growth plans.

Fixed income sales and trading revenues rose 31% from a year ago to $3.6 billion, as credit products revenue soared 94%.

The Global Wealth Management Group delivered a pretax margin of 15% and its highest quarterly revenues since 2000, as financial adviser productivity and client assets per global representative reached all time highs and client assets in the bank deposit sweep program exceeded $16 billion.

Asset Management continued to make good progress in its plan for growth. The business delivered its second consecutive quarter of positive net flows and posted long-term inflows for the first time in two years, driven, in part, by new products launched during the past year.

Discover delivered strong results, including record transaction volume and the fifth consecutive quarter of managed receivables growth, and it continues to be well-positioned for success as a stand-alone company. The spin-off of Discover remains on track for the third quarter of this year.