It’s not all about stocks and bonds. A trio of heavy hitters in the banking industry — JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo — reported results on Friday (April 13), kicking off earnings season in earnest.
Trading volatility ruled the game and headlines for the banks, but a number of other trends continued gathering momentum and added to results, including, for JPMorgan, digital banking efforts and a sanguine U.S. consumer.
For JPMorgan, the quarter showed net income of $2.37 a share, better than the Street at $2.28. Overall revenues were up 10 percent to $28.5 billion, besting estimates by about $860 million.
Beyond those figures, of course, lie a multitude of moving parts. The company said equities trading revenues were up 26 percent, and bond trading revenues were up 8 percent.
Though he did not make a (verbal) appearance on the call with analysts that typically follows earnings releases, CEO Jamie Dimon said in a statement that “2018 is off to a good start, with our businesses performing well across the board.”
Supplemental materials released by the company showed that active digital customers stood at 47.9 million, up from 46.7 million in the same period last year. During the conference call with analysts, and in response to questions, CFO Marianne Lake stated that the growth is “structural” as consumers continue to embrace the digital and mobile channels. That shift, she noted, comes as the banking giant continues to add features that make it compelling for customers to move money through technological means. Notably, the number of branches stood at just over 5,100 in the latest quarter, compared to 5,217 last year — perhaps adding some torque to those digital efforts.
Mobile proved to be a strong point, as active customers here stood at 30.9 million compared to 30 million at the end of the year and 27.3 million in the first quarter of last year.
At the same time, the bank set aside less money to cover loans that might turn sour, provisioning $1.1 billion, while that tally was $1.3 billion in the fourth quarter and $1.3 billion last year in the first quarter. In reference to loan defaults, JPMorgan lost about 60 basis points as a charge-off rate, which is favorable compared to the 79 basis points charged off in 2017’s first quarter.
Excluding commercial cards, credit card sales volume was $157 billion, with 12 percent growth over last year. Auto loans were up 5 percent year on year.