Excluding accounting adjustments, revenue climbed 3.8% year over year to $8.8 billion, more than half of which was a product of continued strength in its institutional securities segment (responsible for services such as corporate capital raisings and restructurings).
Fixed income revenue, which has shown signs of softness at other banks, climbed 13% year over year to $1.7 billion. The New York-based bank said the strong performance reflected improvement in credit and securitized products despite lower volumes in the segment.
Over the three months to March, Morgan Stanley reported per-share earnings of 68 cents a share, 7 cents higher than a year earlier.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters forecast earnings of 59 cents a share and revenue of $8.5 billion, reflecting a 0.5% year-over-year increase.
The bank posted Common Equity Tier 1 ratio of 14.1% and tangible book value per share of $27.41.
Before market open, shares had added 2.3% to $30.57.
-- Written by Keris Alison Lahiff in New York.