Like most of the big banks this season, Morgan Stanley’s (NYSE: MS) first-quarter earnings were decidedly mixed.
Net income was up considerably from a year ago thanks in large part to the absence of a $2 billion debt charge that weighed on last year’s earnings. Morgan Stanley reported a first-quarter profit of $984 million, compared to a $94 million loss a year ago. Revenue was also up, increasing 18% from last year.
However, some of those numbers were deceiving. On a per-share basis, Morgan Stanley’s profits actually fell from 71 cents to 61 cents a share. Revenue also slipped in the bank’s equities trading unit, from $2 billion last year to $1.6 billion in the first quarter.
Also, while the bank’s earnings beat Wall Street’s expectations, revenue fell short of the $8.35 billion analysts were projecting.
The flaws in Morgan Stanley’s otherwise positive first quarter have been enough to push the stock down nearly 4% in trading today.
Several other blue-chip companies reported earnings this morning. Here’s how their stocks are faring so far today:
- Pepsi (NYSE: PEP): Shares are up 3.8% today after the soda company beat earnings expectations – no thanks to its soda business. Soda sales slipped in the first quarter, but the company’s snack products – Frito-Lay, Quaker Oats, etc. – picked up the slack.
- Philip Morris (NYSE: PM): The tobacco giant’s stock has slipped 2.3% as the company’s earnings trailed last year’s profits. On a per-share basis, the earnings of $1.28 also trailed analyst estimates of $1.34.
- Verizon (NYSE: VZ): Shares of the communications giant shot up 3.4% after a stellar performance in the company’s wireless business. Verizon added more wireless subscribers than analysts were expecting, and activated 4 million iPhones in the quarter – more than the 3.2 million activations in the first quarter a year ago.