JPMorgan Chase's (JPM) second-quarter earnings rose 76% to easily top Wall Street estimates as lower losses on bad loans more than made up for a slowdown in its securities trading and underwriting business, the nation's second-biggest bank by assets said Thursday.

For the three months ended June 30, JPMorgan reported net income of $4.8 billion, or $1.09 a share, up from $2.7 billion, or 28 cents, recorded in last year's second quarter. Excluding one-time items and charges, JPMorgan Chase would have reported earnings of 87 cents a share. Analysts, on average, forecast earnings to come in at 70 cents a share, according to data from Thomson Financial.

Revenue fell 8% to $25.6 billion from $27.7 billion in last year's second quarter, which was in line with Wall Street estimates. A $1.5 billion drop in reserves for losses on loans helped account for the much better-than-expected profit, but the bank cautioned that losses on bad loans remain elevated.

"Although we are gratified to see consumer-lending net charge-offs and delinquencies decline, they remain at extremely high levels and therefore returns in our consumer-lending businesses are still unacceptable," said CEO Jamie Dimon in a statement. "As a result, these businesses did not meet expectations nor generate satisfactory returns on capital for our shareholders. It is too early to say how much improvement we will see from here."

The stock market's spring and summer swoon hurt the bank's capital markets business, as the investment banking division saw its profit drop $1.1 billion sequentially from the first quarter.

JPMorgan is the first of the U.S. banking giants to report earnings this season, although its unusually strong balance sheet makes its results of limited use in guessing how its peers will fare. Bank of America (BAC), the nation's biggest bank by assets, and Citigroup (C) are scheduled to release results before Friday's opening bell.

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