(Bloomberg) -- Morgan Stanley, the top global equity underwriter last year, reported profit that beat analysts’ estimates as brokerage earnings more than doubled and margins from that unit surpassed the firm’s goal for this year.

Fourth-quarter net income was $507 million, or 25 cents a share, compared with a loss of $250 million, or 15 cents, a year earlier, the New York-based company said today in a statement. Excluding accounting charges tied to the firm’s own debt, profit was 45 cents a share, beating the 27-cent average estimate of 24 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

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