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Morgan Stanley books $1.2 billion in legal costs

NEW YORK - Morgan Stanley (MS) says its earnings fell in the fourth quarter as it was hit by legal costs.

The New York investment bank earned $433 million, or 20 cents a share, in the fourth quarter of 2013. That compared to $982 million, or 49 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding litigation costs and a tax benefit, the bank earned 50 cents a share, beating the 44 cents forecast by Wall Street analysts. The results also exclude accounting adjustments related to the value of the bank's debt.

The fourth quarter included legal expenses of $1.2 billion related to mortgage-backed securities lawsuits.

 Revenue rose 9 percent to $8.2 billion from $7.5 billion, beating analysts' forecasts of $8.02 billion.

Morgan Stanley's stock rose 85 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $32.80 in pre-market trading.

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