JPMorgan Chase & Co wiped out its stock price losses for the year and advanced as the bank kicked off the first-quarter earnings season with better-than-expected results on Friday.
While warning signs of a possible recession on the horizon built during the quarter and a regional banking crisis erupted with the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, the U.S.’s largest banks continued to benefit from relatively healthy economic conditions.
JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon reiterated comments about a tougher economic environment ahead, but said the bank still posted a strong performance for the quarter.
“The U.S. economy continues to be on a generally healthy footing—consumers are still spending and have strong balance sheets, and businesses are in good shape,” Dimon said in a prepared statement. “The storm clouds that we have been monitoring for the past year remain on the horizon, and the banking industry turmoil adds to these risks.”
Also Read: Jamie Dimon discourages use of term credit crunch during earnings call with analysts
JPMorgan stock JPM, +7.55% jumped 7% after the U.S.’s largest bank said its first-quarter profit rose to $12.62 billion, or $4.10 a share, from $8.28 billion, or $2.63 a share, in the year-ago quarter.
Revenue increased to $38.35 billion from $30.72 billion. JPMorgan beat the earnings estimate of $3.41 a share and surpassed the revenue mark of $36.13 billion, according to analyst forecasts compiled by FactSet.
JPMorgan’s relative success in the quarter suggests a performance divide for the time being between the nation’s largest banks with the scale to prosper in current times, against regional banks that continue to struggle in some cases.
Large regional bank PNC Financial Services PNC, +0.36%, by contrast, saw its stock dip 2.9% on lower-than-expected second-quarter revenue guidance, even though its adjusted first-quarter earnings of $3.98 a share soundly beat the analyst estimate of $3.66 a share.
The bank also warned that after returning $1 billion to shareholders in the first quarter including $400 million of common share repurchases, it expects to reduce share purchases “due to recent market volatility and increased economic uncertainty.”
PNC said it expects an overall weaker performance in the second quarter compared to the first quarter, with revenue down about 3% from $5.6 billion in the first quarter, which is short of the Wall Street analyst for a slight increase in revenue to just under $5.7 billion.
For JPMorgan, Friday’s gains put the stock up about 2% so far in 2023. As of Thursday’s close, JPMorgan Chase stock was down 3.8% in 2023, compared to an 8% rise by the S&P 500 SPX, -0.21%, a 2.7% gain by the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, -0.42% and a 4.8% year-to-date drop by the Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund XLF, +0.98%.
Ahead of its earnings report, JPMorgan had the distinction of one of the few banks that drew higher earnings projections from analysts compared to Dec. 30, instead of lower revisions. Analysts raised their estimates for JPMorgan’s earnings by 6 cents a share from the $3.35 a share projection on Dec. 30.
Looking ahead, JPMorgan expects 2023 net interest income of about $81 billion, ahead of its earlier projection of $74 billion excluding its markets unit. Its forecast for $81 billion in 2023 expenses was unchanged. The bank expects net interest income to dip in 2024.
Citi analyst Keith Horowitz said the JPMorgan turned in an “impressive quarter, playing from a position of strength.”
JPMorgan’s consumer and community banking unit “remained healthy”
with combined debit and credit card sales up 10% and card loans up
21%, Dimon said.
Global investment banking fees were “challenged” amid a lack of deal-making, as markets revenue dropped 4% off a “very strong” year in 2022, while commercial banking booked record revenue with “exceptionally strong” payments revenue.
The bank’s asset and wealth management unit reported “strong” long-term inflows of $47 billion.
On a call with reporters, Dimon said the bank’s head count was up marginally during the quarter but will remain about flat for the rest of the year. The bank has little direct exposure of about 10% of its portfolio to commercial real estate, with most assets from the multi-family home bucket.
Dimon confirmed reports this week that JPMorgan is requiring all managing director (MDs) to work in the office during the work week. “MD leaders need to be accessible to people at all times,” Dimon said.
As a megabank, JPMorgan Chase and other large institutions saw an inflow of deposits as customers pulled uninsured deposits of more than $250,000 from regional banks.
During the quarter, JPMorgan found itself pulled into the drama around First Republic Bank FRC, -3.60%, which found itself rushing to cope with a swift drop in deposits after the failure of Silicon Valley Bank on March 10.
JPMorgan and the FDIC said on March 12 that they would provide a backstop for First Republic and then on March 16, they led an effort by the U.S.’s largest banks to deposit $30 billion with First Republic against a run on deposits.
Dimon took to the bully pulpit in recent weeks as he forecast a long-lasting regulatory impact from the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank in his annual letter to shareholders.
He also made some appearances on CNN and CNBC-TV to talk about the strength of the financial system and how the blowup of Silicon Valley Bank won’t trigger another crisis on the scale of the Global Financial Crisis in 2008. In part two of his CNN interview Dimon shared his views on bank regulations, the Jeffrey Epstein lawsuit and artificial intelligence.
Wells Fargo beats earnings targets
Also on Friday, Wells Fargo WFC, -0.05% stock rose 0.2% after it beat its net income and revenue targets.
Wells Fargo said its first-quarter profit rose to $4.99 billion, or $1.23 a share, from $3.79 billion, or 91 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue grew to $20.73 billion from $17.73 billion. Wells Fargo was expected to earn $1.13 a share on revenue of $20.09 billion, according to estimates compiled by FactSet.
CEO Charlie Scharf said the first-quarter results were “strong” and that the bank is “glad to have been in a strong position to help support the U.S. financial system during the recent events that impacted the banking industry.”
Shares of Wells Fargo were down about 4% in 2023, prior to Friday’s trades.
CFRA analyst Kenneth Leon reiterated a buy rating on Wells Fargo and said the bank booked “significant” revenue growth in commercial banking of 42%, while consumer banking was up 9%, despite a 42% drop in home lending from last year.
Citigroup stock rises after results
Also on Friday, Citigroup Inc. C, +4.78% stock is up 3.4% after the bank reported a higher first-quarter profit that beat analyst estimates.
Citi said its earnings for the three months ended March 31 increased to $4.6 billion, or $2.19 per share, up from $4.3 billion, or $2.02 a share, in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted first-quarter profit was $1.86 a share, which is comfortably above the analyst estimate of $1.65 a share.
Revenue increased to $21.4 billion from $19.2 billion, ahead of the analyst estimate of $20.02 billion. Citi’s credit card revenue rose 20%.
Also Read: Citi CEO Jane Fraser sees no banking crisis afoot
On April 18, Bank of America Corp. BAC, +3.36% is expected to report first-quarter earnings of 81 cents a share, down from the consensus view of 88 cents a share on Dec. 30, according to FactSet. Analysts expect the company to report revenue of $25.16 billion.
Goldman Sachs GS, +1.44% earnings for the first quarter are also due on April 18, with analysts currently forecasting a profit of $8.14 a share, down from $9.73 a share on Dec. 30, with revenue of $12.76 billion.
On April 19, Morgan Stanley MS, +1.19% is expected to post a profit of $1.72 a share, down from a forecast of $1.84 a share on Dec. 30, with revenue of $13.97 billion.
On April 24, First Republic FRC, -3.60% is expected to report first-quarter earnings of 95 cents a share, down from a forecast of $1.57 a share on Dec. 30, on revenue of $1.22 billion. At last check, First Republic stock has lost 88.7% of its value in 2023.
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