JPMorgan Chase Earnings Preview: Legal Hurdles Continue

JPMorgan Chase Earnings Preview: Legal Hurdles Continue
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JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) is scheduled to release its next earnings report on July 15, and analysts are starting to push out their projections. Analysts at Evercore are expecting core earnings per share of $1.31 for the second quarter of the year. That’s compared to the consensus estimate of $1.30 per share for the quarter.

Estimating JPMorgan Chase’s earnings

In a report dated July 1, 2014, analysts Andrew Marquardt and Eugene Koysman said they’re projecting reported earnings of $1.16 per share, including a 14-cent per share drag due to legal expenses and a 1-cent drag from CVA / DVA marks. They say that in general, JPMorgan Chase’s results are expected to be lower than the first quarter due to seasonality, which results in lower trading revenues. They say this will probably be partially offset by higher NII and flat expenses.

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In addition, they’re expecting credit costs to be higher and the bank’s capital net to be stronger.

JPMorgan Chase battles problems

The Evercore team said one key concern is the recent slowdown in sales and trading. However, they say this isn’t unique, even though investment banking activity is still robust. Also JPMorgan Chase is the “most levered to potential improvement in capital markets among MC banks,” according to them.

They note that the bank has been ahead of most of its peers in resolving the numerous legal problems that have plagued the world’s largest banks. In addition, they say potential upside to the company’s earnings is fairly limited and is actually lower than its peers. The Evercore team also notes that JPMorgan Chase has seen a lot of turnover and departures among top management since the London Whale problems in 2012. The bank has also been dealing with more regulatory issues.

JPMorgan Chase remains Overweight

The Evercore analysts see the risk / reward profile for JPMorgan Chase as being “very attractive” because of its healthy fundamentals. Also they say the bank has several levers it could pull if the financial environment gets more difficult. They believe JPMorgan is well-positioned if there are improvements in the capital markets and say the bank’s stock is cheap compared to the stocks of its peers.

They also say management has “made notable progress” regarding the litigation and regulatory issues since last year. They note that those problems could take more time to resolve, but they are confident in the bank’s ability to manage through all of the issues because it still has “sizable remaining litigation reserves and strong earnings power.”

They continue to rate JPMorgan Chase as Overweight with a $61 per share price target.

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