JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s fourth-quarter earnings fell 23% as revenue from its investment banking arm declined.
Earnings per share of 90 cents fell short of Wall Street's expectations, also. The underwhelming results have pushed US stock-index futures modestly. As the first major bank to report for the fourth quarter, JPMorgan's results offer a glimpse into what is largely expected to again be a bleak quarter for the nation's largest financial institutions.
JPMorgan Chase itself had already warned as much; Chief Executive Jamie Dimon last month said the bank expected investment banking revenue in the fourth quarter to again take a hit from rocky capital markets that have pushed potential clients to the sidelines.
The investment banking arm posted an 52% decline in profit to $726 million as revenue fell 30%. At the bank's retail services business, which handles consumer and small-business clients, profit was up 16% to $533 million from a year earlier.
"The firm's returns on tangible common equity for the fourth quarter of 2011 and the full year 2011 were 11% and 15%, respectively. We believe these returns were reasonable given the environment, although the return for the fourth quarter was modestly disappointing," Dimon said in the earnings press release.
Across the bank, credit-loss provisions totaled $2.18 billion, down from $3.04 billion a year earlier and below the $2.41 billion set aside in the third quarter.
JPMorgan Chase reported a profit of $3.73 billion, or 90 cents a share, compared with $4.83 billion, or $1.12 a share, a year earlier. The latest period included net charges of 6 cents a share related to debit valuation adjustments, litigation reserves and benefits from reduced loan loss reserves, primarily related to credit card.
Revenue fell 17% to $22.2 billion.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters were looking for a per-share profit of 90 cents on revenue of $23 billion.