JPMorgan beats analysts’ profit estimates as the bank sets aside less for loan losses

Investing

Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase, appears on CNBC’s Squawk Box at the 2020 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Jan. 22nd, 2020.

Adam Galica | CNBC

JPMorgan Chase is scheduled to report third-quarter earnings before the opening bell Tuesday.

Here’s what Wall Street expects:

Earnings: $2.23 per share, a 17% decline from a year earlier, according to Refinitiv.

Revenue: $28.3 billion, a 5.9% decline from a year earlier.

Reserve build: $104 million, according to FactSet

Trading Revenue: Fixed income $4.53 billion, Equities $1.67 billion

JPMorgan, the biggest U.S. bank by assets, is also the first major lender to report earnings. The company will be closely watched for clues on how banks are weathering the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

The key question for the third quarter: Whether American banks will show that they’re largely done setting aside money for loan defaults tied to the pandemic.

JPMorgan alone has added more than $15 billion to loan reserves in the first half of the year, leaving it with $32 billion for expected defaults at the end of June. Analysts are expecting the firm to set aside a much smaller amount for losses in the third quarter.

For instance, Barclays analyst Jason Goldberg wrote last week in a note that he expected the bank to build third-quarter reserves by $857 million, less than 10% of what the bank set aside in the previous quarter.

The fate of the industry is closely tied to the pandemic because unemployment and business disruptions caused by the virus impacts the abilities of customers and companies to repay debts.

Analysts also expect JPMorgan to book costs tied to the firm’s record $920 million settlement to resolve probes from federal agencies over its role in the manipulation of global markets for metals and Treasurys.

Despite that reputational stain, a bright spot for banks has been trading, which has benefited from surging volatility and the Federal Reserve’s unprecedented actions to prop up credit markets. At JPMorgan, the bank’s trading division was headed for a revenue increase of 20% compared with the year earlier, CFO Jennifer Piepszak said last month at a conference.

JPMorgan shares have dropped 27% this year through Monday, but banks may be due for a rebound. The KBW Bank Index has declined 30% this year, the biggest gap in performance compared to the S&P 500 Index in at least 80 years, Barclays noted last week.

This story is developing. Please check back for updates.

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