NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- There's nothing that gets investors more anxious than earnings season. This is a time when expectations are either confirmed or turned away. Most important, investors look for hints they have made the right buy/sell decisions.
Here's a look at three companies that might have had you wondering.
JPMorgan Chase (JPM): After several years of banking dangerously, CEO Jamie Dimon is working to get the business back on the "right track." I say "right track" because despite some dings to JPMorgan's image, the bank has never lost sight of the things that really matter. The bank still churns out money left and right. Investors want assurances that this will continue.
The bank will report first-quarter earnings Friday and analysts seem a bit more optimistic about JPMorgan's prospects, even though profits are expected to decline 11% to $1.41 per share. For the fiscal year, analysts are expecting earnings of $5.90 per share.
Likewise, revenue is expected to fall 11% in the quarter to $24.56 billion. This is expected to culminate in full-year revenue of $99.61 billion. But after a 8% drop in revenue in the January quarter and an 8% drop in the quarter before that, investors understand the weak interest rate environment has taken a toll on all banks. Not just JPMorgan.
But, as noted, the core business remains intact. JPMorgan has figured out ways to boost its balance sheet to over $2.4 trillion, up more than 2%. More importantly, on Friday, investors should want to see that JPMorgan is able to show strong growth in key areas such as mortgage loan origination and overall loan growth.
As it stands, of analysts that cover JPMorgan, 77% of them have a buy rating. This is because in absolute terms, the bank's results continue to standout. And on the basis of improved earnings and cash flow growth, I project fair market value to reach $65 by the second half of the year.
Wells Fargo (WFC): This is the complete opposite of JPMorgan. I don't believe a safer bank exists that still have the size and scale of Wells Fargo. Although there has been grumblings about slowing growth, in areas such as mortgage lending, which has been the bank's biggest area of strength, Wells Fargo's performance hasn't been that bad.