The stock market was having a relatively weak morning on Friday. As of 9:50 a.m. ET, the Nasdaq Composite was slightly higher, while the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average were firmly in negative territory.
However, JPMorgan Chase (JPM 1.06%) was a big underperformer. Shares were down by 5% for the day, a pretty large pullback for the typically non-volatile big bank stock.
Keeping with tradition, JPMorgan Chase is the first major company to report its fourth-quarter earnings. And it appears that investors aren't exactly thrilled with the results.
At first glance, it might seem odd that shares are falling. After all, the bank handily beat expectations on both the top and bottom lines. And there was other good news from the business. For example, JPMorgan Chase announced a $1.8 billion reserve release because loan losses have been far better than anticipated.
However, management made some negative comments about the next few years that seem to be outweighing the strong numbers. While rising interest rates are generally a positive catalyst for banks, the bank sees rising expenses going forward, including 8% expense growth in 2022 alone due to inflation and wage pressures. As a result, CFO Jeremy Barnum said that the bank will likely miss its 17% return-on-equity target for the next year or two.
This is certainly not what investors wanted to hear, as many hoped that the expected interest rate increases in 2022 would finally help drive bank profits higher. However, management made clear that it sees this as a short-term headwind and that its 17% target is still valid going forward. So, now could be a good time for patient long-term investors to take a closer look.