Fresh off headlines tied to JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon’s appearance on Capitol Hill and a shareholder letter that pointed toward resilient economic fundamentals in the United States and the promise of digital banking, the bank posted first-quarter results that topped expectations.
One key driver: Continued strength in the consumer division, marked by credit card use and deposit growth.
In terms of headline numbers, the company posted earnings of $2.65 a share, topping the Street by 30 cents. Revenues were up $29.1 billion, better than the $28.4 billion expected. One broad measure of how rising interest rates have helped boost results came in the form of net interest income, which was up 9 percent to $14.4 billion. Generally speaking, net interest income is the difference between what the bank makes on lending less what it pays on deposits.
As had been widely expected, trading and markets revenue was down double digits, by 12 percent to $6.6 billion.
Drilling down into the consumer unit, the company said core consumer loan volume was up 3 percent. In supplemental materials provided along with earnings, JPMorgan said its consumer and community banking unit logged net income of $4 billion, which was up 19 percent year over year.
That outpaced revenue gains in the segment, which paced 9 percent to $13.8 billion. Revenues from cards, merchants and auto lines of business were $5.8 billion. Average loans held in general were $479 billion; loans held on cards were $151.1 billion, as compared to just under $143 billion last year. The company’s card sales volume in the quarter was $172.5 billion compared to $157.1 billion, up 10 percent; merchant processing volume was $356.5 billion, up from $316.3 billion last year and adding 13 percent.
Credit quality was also better in the latest period. Card net chargeoff rates improved by nine basis points, to 3.23 percent from 3.32 percent last year. The total net chargeoff rate fell to 59 basis points from 61 basis points a year ago. Provisions for credit losses were flat at $1.3 billion.
Active mobile customers were up 11 percent to 34.4 million in the first quarter. On the conference call with analysts after results were announced, management did not disclose the percentage of deposit activity generated through digital channels, and reiterated its strategy of also boosting is physical footprint. Dimon has pointed to goals of opening up 90 branches in new markets across the U.S.