NEW YORK – JPMorgan Chase said its second quarter profits more than doubled from a year ago — a reflection of the improving global economy and fewer bad loans on its balance sheet. But the bank's revenues fell noticeably in the quarter, due partially to a decline in interest rates during the last three months.
The nation's biggest bank by assets said Tuesday that it earned $11.95 billion, or $3.78 per share, up from a profit of $4.69 billion, or $1.38 a share, in the same period a year ago. The results topped Wall Street's forecast for earnings of $3.20 a share this quarter, according to FactSet.
Expectations are high for the banks this earnings season. Banks set aside tens of billions of dollars to guard against customer defaults early in the pandemic; some of those billions are now being moved back onto the “good” side of their balance sheets. These so-called loan-loss reserve releases have boosted the banks' bottom lines in the last two quarters.
The improving balance sheets have allowed banks to increase their payouts to investors. JPMorgan raised its quarterly dividend to $1 per share late last month, and plans to buy back $30 billion in stock from investors this year.
The New York-based bank released $2.29 billion from its loan-loss reserves this quarter, down from the $4.16 billion it released in the first quarter. Most of the release came from the bank's consumer division, particularly credit cards.
“Consumer and wholesale balance sheets remain exceptionally strong as the economic outlook continues to improve,” said JPMorgan Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon, in a statement.
While the bank's balance sheet improved, revenues did not. Firmwide revenues at JPMorgan were $31.4 billion in the quarter, down 7% from a year earlier.
Part of the reason for the revenue decline was interest rates. Bond yields have steadily fallen the last three months as inflation worries have dissipated. Those declines impact banks' abilities to charge more for loans to borrowers. The bank said that while it had seen increased spending on its credit cards, consumers were aggressively paying down balances which also cut into interest income.
JPMorgan's investment bank was also a drag on the firm's results, reporting a 19% decline in revenues and 9% decline in profits in the quarter compared to a year earlier. A significant part of that decline was a fall in trading revenue, particularly in the bond market, the bank said.
Revenue across the bank was $31.4 billion in the quarter, down 7% from a year earlier.
JPMorgan shares fell 1.2% in early trading.