Morgan Stanley profit shrinks as deal slump lingers

Morgan Stanley's total revenue from investment banking fell to $938M in the quarter

Morgan Stanley's profit fell about 9% in the third quarter, dragged down by lethargic dealmaking that sent the lender's shares down nearly 3% in premarket trading.

Profit for the three months ended Sept. 30 was $2.4 billion, or $1.38 per diluted share, the bank reported on Wednesday. That compares with $2.6 billion, or $1.47 per diluted share, a year earlier.

Morgan Stanley's total revenue from investment banking fell 27% to $938 million in the quarter.

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"While the market environment remained mixed this quarter, the firm delivered solid results," CEO James Gorman said in a statement. "Our equity and fixed income businesses navigated markets well, and both wealth and investment Management produced higher revenues."

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
MS MORGAN STANLEY 97.04 +1.54 +1.61%

Global mergers and acquisitions activity showed few signs of improvement in the third quarter after almost two years in the doldrums. But rebounding volumes in the United States have spurred some optimism about a nascent recovery.

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Rising interest rates, antitrust scrutiny and an uncertain economic and geopolitical outlook have diminished companies' appetite to strike deals.

Morgan Stanley logo

A file photo showing the logo of Morgan Stanley is seen in New York, N.Y. (REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton / Reuters Photos)

Industrywide global investment banking fees fell almost 17% in the third quarter from the same period a year earlier, to $15.2 billion, according to data from Dealogic.

Markets could be further shaken by surging U.S. Treasury yields that have knocked investor confidence.

Morgan Stanley also set aside $134 million in provisions for credit losses, surging from $35 million in the same quarter last year.

Results from Morgan Stanley round out a largely upbeat reporting season for Wall Street's biggest banks, which benefited from rising income from interest payments.

Rival Goldman Sachs' profit dropped less than expected in the third quarter.

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Ticker Security Last Change Change %
GS THE GOLDMAN SACHS GROUP INC. 450.18 +3.72 +0.83%

Wealth management has been a bright spot in recent quarters. It has also reduced Morgan Stanley's reliance on trading and investment banking, which are largely tied to economic cycles.

The wealth management arm's net revenue rose nearly 5% to $6.4 billion for the quarter.