JPMorgan Chase, the nation’s second-biggest bank by assets, exceeded Wall Street’s expectations Wednesday, reporting surging profits and higher employee pay despite lower revenues and decreased lending as the lender set aside less money to cover losses.
The banking behemoth, which grew even larger in the three-month period ending in March, said profit skyrocketed to $5.6 billion, 67 percent more than the same period last year. The lender reported a profit-per-share of $1.28. Analysts forecast $1.16, according to Thomson Reuters.
JPMorgan is the first major financial firm to report its quarterly numbers, and analysts and investors traditionally consider the lender’s results as a harbinger of other big banks’ profits as well as a status check on the overall health of the economy. The $2.2 trillion bank has about 5,300 branches nationwide, 26.6 million checking accounts, and one of Wall Street’s biggest trading and capital-raising units.