JPMorgan Chase & Co. Earnings Drop 19% in First Quarter

Today JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM  ) reported a net income of $5.3 billion in the first quarter of 2014, a 19% decline relative to the $6.5 billion reported in the first quarter of last year. In addition its earnings per share also fell 19%, from $1.59 in the first quarter of 2013 to $1.28 in the most recent quarter.

In the press release announcing the results, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon said, "there were industrywide headwinds in Markets and Mortgage," and suggested the bank "had a good start to the year."

JPMorgan Chase saw declines in net income across all four of its principal business lines relative to the first quarter of last year. Its two largest businesses, Consumer & Community Banking and its Corporate & Investment Bank, saw their net income decline by 25% and 24%, respectively.

As a result of the decreased income, the return on equity at JPMorgan Chase was down from 13% in the first quarter of last year to 10% in the most recent quarter. In addition its return on assets fell from 1.14% to 0.89%.

Revenue at JPMorgan Chase fell by $2.1 billion, or 8%, to $23.0 billion, driven largely by declines in mortgage fees and related income, which fell 65% from $1.5 billion in the first quarter of 2013 to $514 million in the first quarter of this year. In addition its securities gains were down from $509 million to $30 million.

While the results were significantly down relative to the first quarter of last year, the results were essentially flat versus the fourth quarter. While revenue again declined quarter to quarter, net income at JPMorgan Chase was flat, and earnings per share were down slightly from $1.30 to $1.28. This includes an increase in its provision for credit losses -- what it expects to lose on its loans -- rising by $700 million.

"As I said in my letter to shareholders this week, we will dedicate extraordinary effort in 2014 adapting to the new global financial architecture, and we will continue to make significant progress on our control agenda," Dimon concluded his prepared marks in the press release. "We face the future with a strong foundation, a fortress balance sheet and excellent franchises built to serve our clients."

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