New York: JPMorgan Chase & Co’s first-quarter profit topped Wall Street expectations, as revenue from its investment bank overshadowed losses on consumer loans.
Shares of the second-largest US bank jumped 3.5% as it said the pace of loan losses slowed. The results buoyed investors who had looked to JPMorgan -- the first of the major banks to report — to end lagging worries over banks’ health, and reassure Wall Street that the financial crisis is fading.
“JPMorgan is a bellwether for many of the financials,” said Matt McCormick, portfolio manager and banking analyst at Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel in Cincinnati. “Anyone who does not come in with similar results will suffer the consequences in the market.”
The New York-based bank reported a quarterly profit of $3.3 billion, or 74 cents a share, compared with $2.1 billion, or 40 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts on average expected the bank to report a profit of 64 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters.
“While the economy still faces challenges, there have been clear and broad-based improvements in underlying trends,” said Chief Executive Jamie Dimon in a statement.
The investment bank unit reported a quarterly net revenue of $8.3 billion, down from $8.4 billion a year earlier.
In the first quarter, the bank lost the top rankings in global debt and equity underwriting it enjoyed a year earlier. The unit slipped to third position for global debt underwriting and second for global equity underwriting in the first quarter.
JPMorgan’s retail financial services unit, which includes the Chase consumer bank as well as mortgages and other consumer lending, reported a loss of $131 million.
The bank put aside $3.7 billion for future losses, down $144 million from the year-earlier quarter and down $496 million from the fourth quarter.
The bank trimmed its loss expectations for its credit card portfolio and it cut the unit’s provision for loan losses by $1 billion. The credit card unit reported a first-quarter loss of $303 million, compared with a loss of $547 million in the year-earlier period.
“They have set the bar very high for the rest of the industry,” said Michael Holland, chairman of investment firm Holland & Co. “This is a superb report.”
Revenue rose 5% to $28.2 billion, beating analysts’ expectations of $26.5 billion.
Shares of JPMorgan climbed 3.5% to $47.46 in premarket trading. Shares in the company have climbed 10% since the start of the year.