The bank says it earned $898 million after excluding the benefit of an accounting gain, a leap from $337 million a year earlier.
That worked out to 45 cents a share after stripping out the benefit of the gain as well as a charge the bank took for finishing its purchase of the brokerage Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. Financial analysts polled by FactSet had expected 43 cents. Analyst expectations generally strip out one-time items.
Revenue totaled $8.3 billion before the accounting gain, up 26 percent from a year earlier. That beat the $7.9 billion that analysts had expected.
Revenue in the investment bank jumped 40 percent after excluding the accounting gain, boosted as the bank sold and traded stocks for clients. Revenue from selling and trading bonds for clients, a unit where performance has been uneven, also improved. The bank also made more from advising companies on mergers and acquisitions, and from underwriting stock and bond offerings.
Profit rose in the wealth management unit, which advises mostly small and medium-sized businesses and wealthy individuals.
Morgan Stanley's (MS) expenses rose, increased partly by higher litigation costs.
The bank's stock price leaped more than 4 percent in pre-market trading, up $1.21 to $27.75.