J.P. Morgan Chase posted profit and revenue that exceeded analysts’ expectations on a surge in fourth-quarter trading revenue.
The bank said Tuesday that fourth-quarter profit rose 21% to $8.52 billion, or $2.57 a share, compared to the $2.35 estimate of analysts surveyed by Refinitiv. Managed revenue climbed 9% to $29.2 billion, compared with the $27.94 billion estimate.
Shares of the bank gained 1.9% in early trading Tuesday.
J.P. Morgan CFO Jennifer Piepszak said last month that trading revenue was “meaningfully” higher in the fourth quarter versus a year ago. The rebound comes from the industry’s’ fixed-income trading operations, projected to rise 25% on average, versus a 3% bump in stock trading revenue, KBW analyst Brian Kleinhanzl wrote last month.
Bank stocks finished 2019 on a tear, outpacing the broader stock indices in the fourth quarter as investors rushed into an under-owned sector. J.P. Morgan, in particular, surged last year, climbing about 40%, a sharp move higher than prompted some analysts to cut their recommendations based on valuation.
But banks may face pressure this year as interest rates stay low or are even slashed further. The Federal Reserve cut its benchmark rates for the third time in October, and that pressures net interest income, or the revenue that banks garner from collecting loan payments, minus the interest it pays to depositors.
Here’s what Wall Street expected:
Earnings: $2.35 a share, a 19% increase from a year earlier, according to Refinitiv.
Revenue: $27.94 billion, a 4.2% increase from a year earlier.
Net Interest Margin: 2.37%, according to FactSet
Trading Revenue: Fixed income $2.61 billion, Equities $1.37 billion
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