JPMorgan Hasn't Done Much This Year - What Should We Expect After Earnings?

So where do we go from here?

While Hurricane Michael pounded the Florida Panhandle, U.S. stocks got hit with a hurricane of their own on Wednesday, Oct. 10. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 800 points. The S&P 500 fell 94 points. The Nasdaq fell the hardest with tech shares leading the blowout.

Of course, when these massive downswings happen, it's wise to look for value. JPMorgan Chase  (JPM)  could be the stock to turn to. The bank is scheduled to report quarterly earnings on Friday, Oct. 12. They could be decent.

The stock lost 2.65% in Wednesday's wreckage, and has risen only 3% this year. It is trading at 14 times trailing 12-month earnings. Those metrics tell you the market doesn't have a whole lot of confidence in the stock. The question: Is the stock undervalued, or is the bank growing too slowly? 

A recent Goldman Sachs note noted how banks saw selloffs in March and June, both of which were related to broad macroeconomic risks. But "following these episodes, the banks typically recover their peak prices within 90 days of reaching -10% pullbacks." That's 90 days. I say JPMorgan, in particular, will come back Friday after its earnings report.

JPMorgan's net interest margins probably expanded a little bit with rising interest rates. And although USAA's head of equities, John Toohey, told me net interest margins may not expand a great as banks put more cash into higher-yielding savings accounts for customers, JPMorgan will still see some expansion in its interest margin. 

The next question is about loan volumes. As rates rise, have consumers been able to take on as many loans? Loan demand may be slowing, but margin expansion could offset that. With that the stock could rise post-earnings, as it's been simply been a poor performer this year.

JPMorgan is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS member club. Want to be alerted before Jim Cramer buys or sells JPM? Learn more now.

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