JPMorgan Earnings Take Hit From Tax Changes, Drop in Trading

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JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) reported fiscal fourth-quarter and full-year 2017 results before markets opened Friday. For the quarter, the investment bank and financial services giant posted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.07 on managed revenue of $25.45 billion. In the same period a year ago, the bank reported EPS of $1.71 on revenue of $24.33 billion. Fourth-quarter also results compare to the consensus estimates for EPS of $1.69 on revenue of $25.15 billion.

For the full year, the bank reported managed revenue of $103.64 billion and diluted EPS of $6.31, compared to 2016 revenue of $99.14 and EPS of $6.19. Analysts had estimates for revenue of $102.05 billion and EPS of $6.92.

Fourth-quarter and full-year results include a $2.4 billion charge to account for the impact of recent changes to U.S. tax law. The charge reduced EPS by $0.69 per share.

Quarterly profits fell by 37% from $6.73 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016 to $4.23 billion. Excluding the tax-law charge, net income would have been $6.7 billion, a drop of 1% year over year. The bank’s quarterly noninterest expenses rose by 5% from $13.83 billion to $14.59 billion.

Noninterest revenues slipped 1% to $12.1 billion, driven by lower Markets revenue, largely offset by growth in auto lease revenue in Consumer & Community Banking and growth in Asset & Wealth Management. Provision for credit losses was $1.3 billion, compared with $864 million in the prior-year quarter, reflecting net reserve increases totaling $44 million. Last year the bank released $416 million from its net reserves.

By divisions, net income in the consumer and community banking group rose by 11% to $2.63 billion; commercial banking net income rose 39% to $957 million; and asset management group net income rose 12% to $654 million for the quarter.

Corporate and investment banking group net income fell 32% from $3.43 billion to $2.32 billion as revenues slipped by 12%. Revenue in markets and investor services fell 22% year over year to $4.43 billion led by a drop of 26% in markets revenue. Fixed income revenues were down 34% as “driven by continued low volatility, tighter credit spreads, and the impact from the [new tax law] on tax-oriented investments of $259 million.” Excluding the tax-law impact, fixed income revenues fell 27%.

Provision for credit losses in the group totaled $130 million, compared to a release of $198 million in the prior-year quarter. The expense was driven by a reserve build for a single client for which the bank also took a mark-to-market loss of $143 million on a margin loan.

Bank CEO Jamie Dimon said:

The enactment of tax reform in the fourth quarter is a significant positive outcome for the country. U.S. companies will be more competitive globally, which will ultimately benefit all Americans. The cumulative effect of retained and reinvested capital in the U.S. will help grow the economy, ultimately growing jobs and wages. We have always invested, even in difficult times, in our employees, customers and communities, and as a result of the tax plan we will be increasing and accelerating some of these investments.

The bank did not offer guidance in its press release, but the consensus estimates call for first-quarter EPS of $2.08 on revenues of $27.13 billion. The EPS estimate for the 2018 fiscal year is $8.39 on revenues of $107.97 billion.

The one-time noncash charge related to the new tax law was expected. What was not was the continued erosion in the bank’s trading revenues. Even lending revenue of $336 million was down 3% year over year in the quarter.

Shares traded down about 0.3% in Friday’s premarket to $110.50. The current 52-week range is $81.64 to $110.93. The high was posted yesterday. The consensus 12-month price target was $110.91 before the results were announced.