JP Morgan Chase & Co headquarters in New York, May 14, 2012. (image credit Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Getty)
NEW YORK (AP) - JPMorgan Chase, the country's biggest bank by assets, reported a record quarterly profit Friday.
The bank said it made $5.3 billion for common shareholders, a widely used measurement, from July through September, up 36% from the same period a year ago.
Earnings for common shareholders (JPM) includes expenses for making payments to preferred shareholders. Without those expenses, net income would have been even higher, at $5.7 billion.
Either way, the bank blew away analysts' expectations. Earnings were $1.40 per share, far exceeding the $1.21 predicted by analysts polled by FactSet, a provider of financial data.
Revenue rose 6% to $25.1 billion, beating expectations of $24.4 billion. Earnings were helped because the bank set aside less money for bad loans. It set aside $1.8 billion for potential loan losses, down 26% from $2.4 billion a year ago.
Revenue from mortgage loans shot up 29%. Low interest rates, as well as a government program called Home Affordable Refinance Programs, encouraged homeowners to refinance.
CEO Jamie Dimon said he believes the housing market "has turned a corner."
He noted, however, that the bank is still seeing a high level of souring mortgage loans, and said he expects high default-related expenses "for a while longer." He said he bank is working to modify loans for homeowners struggling to pay mortgages they can no longer afford.
The bank gave few details on the surprise $6 billion trading loss that dominated its previous earnings report. It did mention that a credit portfolio moved to the investment bank from the chief investment office, which was responsible for bad trade, "experienced a modest loss."
JPMorgan's investment banking unit earned more in fees for underwriting stock offerings and debt offerings, which could signal that wary companies and investors are more willing to get back into the market.
Debit card revenue fell, which the bank blamed on new rules crimping the fees that banks charge stores whenever customers pay via debit card.
JPMorgan stock was up 58 cents at $42.68 in premarket trading. The stock was as low as $31 in early June, after the bank announced a surprise trading loss that ballooned to $6 billion.