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JP Morgan’s Blowout Earnings Shaded by Dimon’s Recession Warning

Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:09 PM
W. E. Messamore
Last Updated September 23, 2020 1:09 PM

JP Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) posted record revenues and profits  for the third quarter. JPM shares rose 3.8% in morning trading  on the Q3 earnings report, which revealed that net revenues (the company’s total cash haul) and net income (profits left over after expenses) both grew by 8%.

Net revenue for the quarter was $30.1 billion. Net income was $9.1 billion. That delivered earnings of $2.68 per share, blowing way past analyst projections of $2.45 per share.

jp morgan stock rises on blowout earnings
JP Morgan stock surged following a banner earnings report. | Source: Yahoo Finance

As a snapshot of the overall economy, JP Morgan’s third quarter bodes well. Growth in three of its four main areas of business  signals strength in the economy’s fundamentals despite concerns over US-China trade war uncertainty, a slowdown in manufacturing and employment growth, and volatility in equities markets. Only commercial banking revenue fell due to lower interest rates.

Recession fears might seem overblown in light of JP Morgan’s numbers. The bank’s results show an active commercial and investor sector, and consumers are supporting the economy with increased financing and mostly on-time repayment of bank loans.

A Lackluster Quarter for Goldman Sachs

Meanwhile, the earnings of Wall Street rival Goldman Sachs flatlined for the third quarter. Goldman reported Q3 revenue of $8.32 billion, right in line with expectations of $8.31 billion. Its quarterly profits of $1.88 billion delivered earnings of $4.79 a share, missing analyst expectations of $4.81 .

Goldman’s investing and lending division fared worst. Failed equity investments in companies like Uber , Avantor, Tradeweb, and WeWork led to the earnings slump.

Investment banking revenue fell 15% for the quarter. Investing and lending fell 17%. CEO David Solomon’s plan to diversify his much smaller bank (less than a fifth JP Morgan’s size by market cap) has hit bumpy waters amid 2019’s equities market volatility. That kind of market turbulence rocks a smaller boat harder than a larger vessel.

Jamie Dimon Shades US Economy with Recession Warning

In JP Morgan’s quarterly earnings statement, CEO Jamie Dimon hailed his company’s investment banking division’s performance in debt and equity capital markets:

“We had record third quarter IB fees with particularly strong performance in DCM and ECM, and year-to-date we maintained our #1 global ranking with share gains across products and regions.”

In April, Dimon said that the strength of the US consumer  could drive economic growth with no end in sight. He said the record-setting expansion since the 2008 financial crisis could “go on for years.”

But in a morning phone call with reporters Tuesday, Dimon warned that “there’s a recession ahead,”  as trade war uncertainty dampens business confidence.