JPMorgan Chase Co. (NYSE:JPM)’s much awaited and massive stock repurchase plan has been put onto hold for one more quarter, as the bank is still busy with its clean up of London trading disaster
Just last month, CEO Jamie Dimon expressed his interest of starting the repurchase in the fourth quarter, but the plans got delayed until the completion of the chief investment office (CIO) investigation. “Hopefully, if all goes well, we can start buying back stocks early in the fourth quarter,” Dimon said on the bank’s quarterly conference call.
Exceeding analyst’s expectation, the bank was approved with $15 billion of stock repurchase in March, which at that time helped shares jump, and drove a market rally, as investors poured into financial stocks expecting similar Fed leniency.
On the suspension of plans of repurchase, Dimon said that repurchase is a god idea, only when there is no other use of the capital and apologized for the $12 billion in repurchases last year, because shares fell. This attitude of Dimon was applauded by the legendry Warren Buffett, who also shares that repurchase is a waste of money.
Discounting the news of delay in repurchase, shares of the company were down about 0.7% to $36.89 in premarket trading. The dividend, which Dimon called “sacrosanct”, last month, remains safe.
The largest U.S. bank, by assets, still has to ask Federal Reserve for approval to resume buying back shares in the fourth quarter, before the next stress test, subject to the completion of the investigation by chief investment office.
Along with the news of delay, JPMorgan Chase Co. (NYSE:JPM) formally changed its first-quarter earnings results to show a lower profit, after the bank’s internal investigation into the nearly $6 billion in trading losses reported in recent months, revealed that traders at its main investment arm may have tried to conceal the size of losses for some derivative transactions. The so-called “London Whale” trades involved complicated hedging strategies, intended to reduce the bank’s risk, but actually increased it when they backfired. In a regulatory filing, the New York bank said the probe found information that “suggested that certain individuals may have been seeking to avoid showing the full amount of the losses being incurred.” As per latest corrections, the bank earned $4.92 billion for the quarter ended March 31, which is $459 million less than the $5.38 billion originally reported.