Today's stock market
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Despite a series of strong earnings reports, bank stocks fell; the SPDR S&P Bank ETF (NYSEMKT:KBE) lost 1.5% after a big gain yesterday. Gold was up, and the VanEck Vectors Gold Miners ETF (NYSEMKT:GDX) advanced 1.9%.
JPMorgan Chase reports a strong quarter
JPMorgan Chase reported first-quarter results that beat expectations, but shares slumped anyway, falling 2.7%. The bank grew net income 35% to $8.7 billion and delivered earnings per share of $2.37, compared with analyst expectations of $2.28 in EPS. Return on equity rose to 15%, a big improvement over last quarter's 7% and 11% in the quarter a year earlier. Net revenue increased 12% to $27.9 billion.
Consumer and community banking contributed the most to the profit gain, with net income increasing 67% to $3.3 billion. Core loans were up 8% and average deposits grew 6%. In the investment banking segment, net income rose 23% to $4 billion on trading revenue that grew 13% to $6.57 billion. Fixed income trading revenue grew 8% to $4.6 billion and equity trading was up 26% to $2.02 billion. Commercial banking income increased 28% to $1 billion.
CEO Jamie Dimon said in the press release, "The global economy continues to do well, and we remain optimistic about the positive impact of tax reform in the U.S. as business sentiment remains upbeat, and consumers benefit from job and wage growth."
JPMorgan is benefiting from the tailwind of higher interest rates, as are other banks. But this quarter also saw good deposit growth and a strengthening in its trading business as well, getting the bank off to a good start in 2018.
Zillow will start buying and selling homes
Zillow Group released preliminary first-quarter results, updated its outlook for 2018, and announced it will undertake a strategy of buying and flipping homes. The financial update exceeded expectations, but investors focused on the risks of the "Instant Offers" program, sending Class C shares down 6.5%.
The company expects Q1 revenue to come in between $299 million and $301 million and to report a GAAP loss of between $18 million and $20 million. For the full year, Zillow forecasts revenue of between $1.43 billion and $1.58 billion. Analysts were expecting Q1 revenue of $294 million and full-year sales of $1.31 billion.
Zillow will be rolling out its Instant Offers program in Phoenix, after having tested the concept in Las Vegas and Orlando for almost a year. When a seller wants to participate, the company will make bid for a home within two days of getting detailed information, seeking to buy the home, renovate it, and sell it within 90 days. The transactions will be conducted using its network of premier agents. Zillow said that the program could expand to six cities by the end of the year, and the company would be carrying an inventory of 300 to 1,000 homes by then.
Analysts on the call were concerned about the capital costs and the price risk of carrying home inventory. Zillow said that it is implementing the program in response to customer demand for an option to sell a home very quickly with a minimum of hassle, and that its deep knowledge of the U.S. housing market will be a competitive advantage.