Loan growth helps JPMorgan beat expectations despite trading decline

FAN Editor
FILE PHOTO: People pass the JP Morgan Chase & Co. Corporate headquarters in the Manhattan borough of New York
FILE PHOTO: People pass the JP Morgan Chase & Co. Corporate headquarters in the Manhattan borough of New York City, May 20, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

October 12, 2017

(Reuters) – JPMorgan Chase & Co’s <JPM.N> quarterly profit and revenue easily trumped Wall Street’s expectations on Thursday, but a slump in bond trading clouded gains from loan growth and higher interest rates.

Financial market trading was again a dark spot for the bank with revenue from bond trading diving 27 percent compared with a year earlier, when it was boosted by higher market activity due to Brexit and the U.S. election. Equity markets revenue was also down 4 percent.

Shares of JPMorgan, which kicked off earnings for banks in the United States, dipped 0.66 percent to $96.20 in premarket trading.

“The results were solid but not exceptional,” said Morningstar analyst Jim Sinegal.

Several large U.S. banks had warned last month that revenue from trading stocks and bonds would take a hit in the third quarter.

JPMorgan’s total markets revenue fell 21 percent. Chief Executive Jamie Dimon last month forecast a decline of about 20 percent for the quarter.

But the bank’s average loan growth and higher net interest income in the third quarter helped it cushion some of blow.

“The global economy continues to do well and the U.S. consumer remains healthy with solid wage growth,” Dimon said in a statement.

The bank’s average loan balances in the third quarter were up 7 percent from a year earlier, about half the pace of growth a year-earlier.

Loan growth has been anemic for U.S. banks as interest rates come off historic lows. President Donald Trump’s pro-business policies were expected to boost loan growth, but waning optimism about the administration’s ability to push through reforms has hurt growth.

The bank’s total revenue rose 2.7 percent, topping the average analyst estimate of $25.23 billion.

Net profit rose 7.1 percent to $6.73 billion, or $1.76 per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 30.(

Analysts had expected earnings of $1.65 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Stock repurchases by the company during the past year under capital plans approved by the Federal Reserve boosted earnings per share.

Net interest income rose 10 percent to $12.80 billion due to higher interest rates.

The bank’s net interest margin increased as the interest rate it earned on average assets increased 0.37 percentage points – more than the 0.29 percentage point increase in the interest rate on its liabilities.

Since the year-earlier quarter, the Fed raised overnight rates in December, March and June for a total of 0.75 percentage points. It is widely expected to hike rates again in December.

Total noninterest expenses fell 1 percent to $14.32 billion.

Citigroup <C.N> is also scheduled to report results on Thursday.

(Reporting by Sweta Singh in Bengaluru and David Henry in New York; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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