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JPMorgan Chase, once a universal bank stock favorite, has swiftly dropped from investors' grace after disclosing a $2 billion trading loss from a poorly executed hedge.
Shares of the bank have dropped 16% since the bank announced the loss and the stock has been unable to recover from the fiasco.
The loss, expected to top $2 billion with some estimates placing it at $5 billion, is not expected to significantly dent the bank's capital levels or for that matter its earnings.
But its reputation as safe haven has definitely been marred. And in a further blow to investors, JPMorgan recently announced that it would halt its $15 billion buyback program, which was expected to provide some support to the stock.
A few analysts have reluctantly lowered their ratings on the stock, with most still seeing this as an isolated incident.
But the regulatory debate over Volcker rule, Glass-Steagall and too-big-to-fail have flared up again following the incident and the banking industry's main champion, Jamie Dimon, may have lost his voice in the debate.
KBW analyst David Konrad now believes the bank should be broken up, not so much for regulatory reasons, but because the stock continues to trade at low multiples.
Konrad said that his firm did not think that JPMorgan CEO James Dimon was "going anywhere soon," in the wake of the company's $2 billion second-quarter hedge trading loss and its suspension of its share buyback program, but that "should the market continue to depress the multiples of universal banks regardless of underlying values, we believe the Board may explore options to unlock value."
An overwhelming 26 out of 34 analysts still rate the stock a buy, though that is down from 29 analysts a month ago, according to data from Reuters.
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Written by Shanthi Bharatwaj in New York.