JPMorgan Chase beat analysts’ estimates for profit and revenue on better-than-expected trading results and a boost from releasing money previously set aside for loan losses.
Here are the numbers:
- Earnings: $3.79 a share, vs. $2.62 per share estimate, according to Refinitiv.
- Revenue: $30.16 billion, vs. $28.70 billion expected, according to Refinitiv.
JPMorgan Chase, the first major lender to report fourth-quarter earnings, will be closely watched for clues as to how the industry is weathering the coronavirus pandemic.
One key question is whether banks, which set aside tens of billions for loan losses last year, are largely done preparing for defaulting loans and might even begin releasing reserves.
A bright spot in 2020 for Wall Street has been trading, which is expected to be the best year since the financial crisis in terms of total revenues, thanks to the Federal Reserve’s unprecedented actions to prop up markets. Investment bankers also benefited as wide-open markets brought surging demand for IPOs and a record spate of debt issuance.
Last month, CEO Jamie Dimon said he expected fourth-quarter trading and investment banking revenue to be 20% higher than a year earlier.
Analysts may ask Dimon about succession planning after a health scare he had last year. While widely reported that Dimon had heart surgery last March, he only recently told the Wall Street Journal that his condition was so precarious he thought he “might not make it.”
Analysts will also be curious about the pace of share repurchases the bank is expecting to make. JPMorgan announced a $30 billion share repurchase program last month after the Federal Reserve said that the industry could restart buybacks in the first quarter.
Shares of JPMorgan slipped 8.7% last year, compared to the 4.3% decline of the KBW Bank Index.
This story is developing. Please check back for updates.