The investment bank and brokerage said its bond trading revenue rose compared with last year's first quarter, stripping out an accounting quirk, even as its chief rival,
"We had identified several years ago that we were punching below our weight in fixed income products," Chief Financial Officer
In spite of those gains, the bank lost money during the first quarter because an accounting adjustment cost it
The bank reported a net loss of
Excluding the debt adjustment, which requires companies to record gains when their own debt weakens and losses when their debt strengthens,
The bank's trading revenue was much higher in the first quarter than the 2011 fourth quarter, thanks in large part to improvements in the fixed-income markets. U.S. competitors including Goldman,
"This clearly demonstrates company-specific improvement," said
Goldman reported a 14 percent year-over-year decline in trading revenue, although its results are not exactly comparable because it separates client trading from its own trading.
"Those trading results were well ahead of our expectations," said Edward Jones analyst
Much of the increased client activity in bond trading came as a result of the
The LTRO offered a lifeline to struggling European banks, easing investor concerns about the European debt crisis and creating less-volatile trading conditions.
"We've had thousands of investors literally on some of our weekend calls trying to understand what's going on in the Eurozone," Porat said.
Investors and analysts have been watching wealth management closely because
Management initially aimed for a pretax margin of 20 percent for retail brokerage but lowered that target to the mid-teens last year, saying low interest rates and weak client activity were hurting performance.
The wealth management business reported more client assets in fee-based accounts and more revenue and assets per financial adviser. Some of those gains are the result of efforts to fire hundreds of unproductive advisers.
The bank plans to complete a technology integration this summer that will put all of the financial advisers on the same platform, an effort that will save the bank an estimated
The bank plans to buy another 14 percent of the business from
About 51 percent of the business is owned by
To prepare for a possible downgrade,
Since many derivatives contracts will be centrally cleared on exchanges, due to new regulations, the impact on
The bank has said it would have to post an additional
In the first quarter,
Excluding debt adjustments,
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