People walk by the JP Morgan & Chase Co building in New York.
NEW YORK: US banking giant JPMorgan Chase reported a 7.2 percent drop in fourth-quarter earnings yesterday as it eyes an improving US economy and potential new regulatory problems.
JPMorgan, the largest US bank, said earnings were $5.3bn in the fourth quarter, down from $5.7bn a year ago. Revenues of $24.1bn were down 1.2 percent from the year-ago period. The results translated into earnings of $1.30 cents per share. Excluding charges and other items, adjusted earnings came in at $1.40 per share, beating analyst expectations by five cents.
Net earnings for full-year 2013 were $17.9bn, down nearly 16 percent from $21.3bn in 2012.
On the positive side, the quarterly results returned JPMorgan to profitability after a rare loss in the third quarter when a $9.15bn charge on legal expenses pushed the company into the red for the first time in nearly a decade.
JPMorgan has spent about $20bn on settlements with US regulators since the beginning of 2013. The company yesterday announced another charge for legal expenses, this time for $1.1bn, including for settlements announced last week with the Department of Justice related to poor oversight of accounts by convicted fraudster Bernard Madoff.
JPMorgan’s chief executive Jamie Dimon said he was pleased the company had decided “to accept responsibility, resolve these issues and move forward.”
But bank officials stopped short of saying they were home free on the regulatory front.