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James Gorman, CEO of Morgan Stanley
The bank's net income increased to $ 2.7 billion in the quarter, up more than 40 percent year-on-year.
"Relative to peers, Morgan Stanley achieves outstanding results," wrote Nomura Instinet analyst Steven Chubak on Wednesday in a statement to his clients.
Morgan Stanley's stock trading revenues increased to $ 2.6 billion over the period, up 30 percent year-on-year. The bank said it benefits from "higher customer activity" during the quarter. By comparison, Goldman Sachs recorded $ 2.31 billion of stock trading in the first quarter.
Fixed Income, Commodities and Foreign Exchange revenues increased 12 percent in the quarter, a dramatic improvement from the 46 percent decline in revenue fourth quarter. Income from Morgan Stanley's asset management business rose from $ 517 million last year to $ 626 million.
Morgan Stanley, CFO Jonathan Pruzan, said he expects the market to "not be as beneficial".
Other major US banks posted solid results this reporting season, but not as strong as Morgan Stanley.
Goldman Sachs reported better results on Tuesday than expected, while J.P. Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Citigroup outperformed analysts' earnings forecasts on Friday. All four bank shares yielded to their results in the first trading session.