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Morgan Stanley back in the black

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Morgan Stanley (MS-N) swung to a profit in the second quarter, though revenue declined 24 percent due to a slowdown in trading and dealmaking.

The investment bank reported earnings of $564 million US, or 29 cents per share, compared with a loss of $558 million, or 38 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Morgan Stanley also lost money in the first quarter.

The latest results included a $350-million gain from changes in Morgan Stanley's credit spreads, but earnings generally beat what many analysts had been expecting.

Revenue fell to $6.95 billion from $9.21 billion a year earlier. Revenue from merger advisory dropped 51 percent to $263 million, revenue from underwriting fell 34 percent to $621 million, and equity trading revenue fell 34 percent to $1.22 billion. Wealth management and asset management revenue also fell.

Morgan Stanley said as a result of its credit ratings being downgraded in June, it posted $2.9 billion of extra collateral with trading counterparties in derivatives. Its counterparties were entitled to ask for $6.3 billion under its agreements with them.

Moody's Investors Service cut its ratings on the bank to "Baa1," three steps above junk, on June 21 as part of a broad re-evaluation of banks exposed to capital markets businesses like stock and bond trading.

Morgan Stanley's 2011 second-quarter results included a charge linked to the bank's conversion of preferred stock owned by Japan's Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group into common stock.

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