JPMorgan beats estimates

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), the biggest U.S. bank, posted second-quarter profit that beat estimates as fixed-income trading revenue fell less than analysts expected. The stock climbed the most in eight months.

Net income declined 7.9 percent to $5.99 billion, or $1.46 a share, from $6.5 billion, or $1.60, a year earlier, the New York-based firm said today in a statement. Earnings excluding some items were $1.59 a share, topping the $1.31 average estimate of 29 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Revenue slid 2.3 percent to $25.4 billion from a year earlier.

Quarterly results were overshadowed by questions about the health of Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, 58, who said July 1 that he would soon undergo radiation and chemotherapy for throat cancer. While Dimon reiterated today that his prognosis is excellent and that he’ll be able to work during eight weeks of treatment, the disclosure raised fresh questions about succession planning at the bank he’s run since 2006.

“There’s definitely a Jamie premium in this stock that would come out if the market believed he was going to make a transition,” said Marty Mosby, director of bank and equity strategies at Memphis, Tennessee-based broker-dealer Vining Sparks. “With someone as strong as Jamie, the trouble is that everybody else was part of a team who reported to him, and there’s not a clear second-in-command or frontrunner to take over.”

Shares climb

JPMorgan climbed 3.9 percent to $58.46 at 9:32 a.m. in New York, the biggest intraday gain since November. The shares had declined 3.7 percent this year through yesterday, compared with the 2.8 percent advance of the 24-company KBW Bank Index.

“I feel great,” Dimon said today in a conference call with reporters. “I’m receiving the best treatment from the best doctors in the world.”

JPMorgan warned investors in May to expect Wall Street’s trading slump to continue through the second quarter, saying that fixed income and equities trading revenue could drop 20 percent from a year earlier. Fixed-income clients are making fewer bets amid low volatility and the Federal Reserve’s move to slow bond purchases, Daniel Pinto, 51, JPMorgan’s investment banking chief, said that month.

There were encouraging signs toward the end of the second quarter, including an improvement in “some markets activity,” Dimon said in today’s statement. While client activity jumped in June, it didn’t carry over into July, Chief Financial Officer Marianne Lake said on the media call.

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