Reporting its 2010 fourth-quarter results today, Morgan Stanley beat analyst estimates -- as well as the worsted-wool trousers off its investment banking competitors.
Morgan Stanley posted a 35 percent surge in profits versus the same period a year earlier, a 5 percent hike in investment banking fees, and 14 percent rise in overall net revenue. In addition, the bank posted a per-share of earnings of 41 cents, versus the 35 cents that analysts had predicted.
Morgan Stanley's latest results were a marked difference compared to those of Goldman Sachs and Citi, both of which reported earnings this week that were less than analysts had anticipated.
Although Morgan Stanley's compensation per employee was still below that of its fiercest rival Goldman ($256,595 vs. $430,700) and Goldman recently regained the top spot in the worldwide M&A advisory league tables (Morgan slipped to No. 2), Morgan Stanley might soon emerge as a more desired place to begin a career.
Given all the heat and public hate heaved Goldman's way in the past year (which is showing no signs of abating), coupled with Morgan Stanley's solid financial position, and a job with James Gorman and Co. could soon become, for the first time ever, the most prestigious in banking.