Financials are looking spiffy this morning as banks begin to turn in superb second-quarter earnings. Heavy hitters JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) unveiled some sweet numbers earlier today, and Wells was up more than 2% in midday trading. Though the KBW Bank Index (DJINDICES:^BKX) was in the red early this morning, it too has been buoyed by these excellent reports.
Earnings and revenue estimates easily beat
Wells sailed past analysts' estimates on earnings per share by $0.04, turning in a nifty $0.98 on that metric. Revenue of $21.38 beat by $0.17 billion, as well. To put those numbers in perspective, EPS increased 20% over the second quarter of 2012, with profits up 19%. Revenue was up by $89 million over last year's figures.
The somewhat flat revenue numbers are likely traceable to a slowdown in the mortgage market, particularly refinances. Despite this industrywide headwind, which was noted last quarter by both Wells and JPMorgan, Wells reported both higher mortgage originations and applications from the first quarter. The application pipeline isn't quite as robust at $63 billion, however, as it was at the end of March, when it clocked in at $74 billion.
Similarly, JPMorgan noted that its mortgage banking profit decreased by $179 million, to $1.1 billion, from the same time last year.
Wells trumped JPMorgan in the area of net interest income, a metric that has been compressed by the low-interest environment of the past few years. While JPMorgan noted that its own net interest income decreased by 1% year over year, Wells' increased by 9% since the second quarter of 2012, because of loan growth and securities investments.
As Wells Fargo nears its 52-week high this morning, it looks like the sky will be the limit as investors celebrate the good news. Though mortgage rates have caused a drop in demand for such loans lately, Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke's calming words on Wednesday, when he reiterated the Fed's commitment to economic stimulus for the foreseeable future, may have halted the escalation, and today's rates have edged down slightly from yesterday. For Wells Fargo, the future just got a little bit brighter.