If Jamie Dimon is sorry he missed the Sandy Weill
succession lottery, he can take solace in the most recent quarter of the company he currently runs, Bank One ( ONE - Get Report). The nation's sixth-largest bank said quarterly profit climbed 7% to $856 million, or 75 cents a share, from $803 million or 68 cents a share in the year-ago period. Earnings beat analysts' estimates of 73 cents per share. The improvement was largely due to growth in retail banking, strong capital markets revenue and better customer credit. Dimon, once heir apparent to Sandy Weill at Citigroup ( C - Get Report), said results at the bank's credit card services "continued to be favorable, and margins appear to have stabilized. We are optimistic, although we expect pricing to remain competitive and credit to deteriorate modestly." The bank also hiked its quarterly dividend by 19% to 25 cents and started a $3 billion buyback program. Elsewhere, SouthTrust ( SOTR) reported a 9% rise in second-quarter earnings to $174.7 million, or 51 cents a share, from $160.9 million, or 46 cents a share, beating analysts' expectations by one penny. SouthTrust said low interest rates crimped its interest margins. But the bank expects to benefit from increased efficiency and fewer customer defaults in the near future. New York Community Bancorp ( NYB) said profit rose 23% in the second quarter to $71.8 million, or 53 cents a share, from $58.1 million, or 43 cents, a year ago, surpassing Wall Street forecasts of 51 cents a share. The bank raised its projection for full-year 2003 earnings to a range between $2.04 and $2.10, from $2 to $2.06, in line with analysts' estimates. National City ( NCC) reported second-quarter income rose to $617 million, or 99 cents a share, from $393 million, or 63 cents last year, comfortably beating estimates of 77 cents a share. The holding company said profit surged with the help of its mortgage business. It now expects to surpass Wall Street's 2003 earnings estimates of $3 per share by a wide margin, although it didn't give precise figures.
Results were not as favorable at Northern Trust ( NTRS - Get Report), which reported second-quarter net profit fell almost 50% to $66.6 million, or 30 cents per share, from $126.8 million, or 56 cents a share. The company, which sells custodial and asset-management services, firm had a 14-cent charge related to layoffs and other cost reductions, while revenue from continuing operations fell slightly to $551 million, from $553 million the previous year. Shares of Bank One were down 27 cents, or 0.5%, to $39.05; Northern Trust shares fell 41 cents, or 0.9%, to $43.30; SouthTrust shares dropped 51 cents, or 1.8%, to $28.05; New York Community Bancorp fell 69 cents, or 2.1%, to $31.76; National City was up 8 cents, or 0.2%, to $33.48.