JPMorgan Chase, the largest US bank, on Tuesday morning reported earnings for the first quarter of 2015, and it was a beat.
The bank also plans to raise its dividend by 10%, to $US0.44 cents a share.
Earnings per share came in at $US1.45 (with items). Adjusted EPS came in at $US1.61.
Managed revenue came in at $US24.8 billion.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters anticipated a print of $US1.38 in EPS on $US24.5 billion in managed revenue.
“JPMorgan Chase continues to support consumers, businesses, and communities and make a significant positive impact,” CEO Jamie Dimon said in a press release. “We have an outstanding franchise, which is getting safer and stronger and is gaining market share over time. We continue to build the company for the long-term, we are investing in controls, infrastructure, systems, technology, new products, and bankers. We will continue to navigate challenges and deliver for our clients, shareholders, and communities.”
One thing on everyone’s mind here: legal fees. The bank’s profit declined 6.6% from 2013 to 2014, and paying $US990 million in legal fees in the Q4 alone contributed a lot to that decline, as did a slump in trading revenue.
Dimon said in his annual letter that he expected legal costs to level out entering 2016. There was a slight improvement there as the number declined to $US487 million for the first quarter.
The other element that took a toll on JPMorgan improved this quarter as well. Trading in the investment bank improved on the fixed income side and the equities side, bringing JPM’s investment-bank revenue from $US8.8 billion at this time last year to $US9.5 billion.
Wall Street is still going through painful adjustments because of post-financial-crisis regulation. JPMorgan says it’s still seeing its revenue decline as it “simplifies” its business.
“Markets & Investor Services revenue was $US6.5 billion, up 7% from the prior year, despite the impact of business simplification, driven by higher Markets revenue,” the report said.