JPMorgan Posts Hefty Profit but Shares Stall

JPMorgan Chase earned nearly $5 billion in the second quarter with results getting a boost from a big reduction in its reserve for loan losses.
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Updated with live coverage of the conference call, latest share price.



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JPMorgan Chase

(JPM) - Get Report

reported a strong second-quarter profit early Thursday, boosted by a hefty reduction in loan loss reserves, but revenue for the June period was in-line with Wall Street expectations and the bank reiterated frustration with its consumer lending businesses.

The stock was down slightly in early trades on Thursday, slipping 19 cents to $40.16 on volume of nearly 18 million.

Overall, earnings came in at $4.8 billion, or $1.09 a share, for the three months ended June 30. These results reflect the benefit of a $1.5 billion reduction of loan loss reserves, although that was partially offset by a charge of $550 million for a U.K. bonus tax.

The bank earned $2.7 billion, or 28 cents a share, in the same period a year earlier, and posted a profit of $3 billion, or 74 cents a share, in the first quarter.

>>>Conference Call: Live Blog

CEO Jamie Dimon was quick to say the bank doesn't believe the results represent "normal ongoing earnings," however, and he was blunt about his dissatisfaction with the consumer lending operations.

"Although we are gratified to see consumer-lending net charge-offs and delinquencies decline, they remain at extremely high levels and therefore returns in our consumer-lending businesses are still unacceptable," Dimon said. "As a result, these businesses did not meet expectations nor generate satisfactory returns on capital for our shareholders. It is too early to say how much improvement we will see from here."

Revenue on a managed basis was $25.6 billion, down from $27.7 billion in the same period a year earlier, and $28.2 billion in the first fiscal quarter of 2010.

The average estimate of analysts polled by

Thomson Reuters

was for a profit of 67 cents a share on revenue of $25.6 billion in the June period.

Trading revenue was a source of concern for analysts ahead of the report, and JPMorgan did see a drop on both a sequential and year-over-year basis in the contribution from its investment bank business, which houses its trading operations. Total revenue for the unit was $6.3 billion, compared to $8.3 billion in the first quarter, and $7.3 billion in the same period a year earlier. Revenue from its fixed income markets business showed a sharp decline, falling to $3.6 billion for the latest three months from $4.9 billion in the prior year, while investment banking fees dropped 37% year-over-year to $1.4 billion as equity underwriting activities dried up.

The bank's total provision for credit losses fell to $3.4 billion in the latest quarter, down significantly from $7 billion in the first quarter and $9.7 billion in the year-ago period.

With the financial reform bill expected to pass by the end of the week, Dimon couldn't resist comment, offering a slight nod to "a number of positive aspects" of the proposed legislation before voicing concern about how the laws will ultimately be implemented.


Many challenges and uncertainties remain which may result in unintended consequences for our clients, the markets and our businesses,"Dimon said. "With a need for global regulatory coordination and hundreds of rules to be written, increased focus is critical in order to implement these reforms in a way that protects consumers and the competitiveness of the U.S. financial system, while ensuring the flow of safe and sound credit."

On the conference call, Dimon said JPMorgan had already bought back about $500 million worth of its stock, and said the bank planned to continue making repurchases. Of the potential for a dividend boost, he said it could come this year "if we're lucky."

This is the first of the quarterly reports for the four big money-center banks.

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report



(C) - Get Report

will deliver their numbers before Friday's opening bell, while

Wells Fargo

is slated to report its results on July 21.


Written by Laurie Kulikowski in New York with contributions from Michael Baron and Joseph Woelfel.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.