On the surface, Morgan Stanley's (MS +3.5%) Q1 results appear far better than those of Goldman Sachs (GS +0.6%), with FICC revenues up 9% Y/Y vs. a decline at Goldman. But Oppenheimer's Chris Kotowski notes Morgan had an especially easy comparison since 2013 Q1 was particularly weak. "Nonetheless, it is always nice to see year-over-year growth, and Morgan Stanley's is the best we have seen so far."
Kotwoski also takes note of return on tangible common equity - 11.1% at Goldman vs. 10.9% at Morgan. Despite the lower ROE, Morgan trades for 10.3x 2015 estimates vs. 9.4x for Goldman. Investors may want to have to take a harder look at which one to buy.