JPMorgan Chase & Co., the biggest U.S. bank, posted second-quarter profit that beat estimates as fixed-income trading revenue fell less than analysts expected. Shares rose in early trading.

Net income declined 7.9 percent to $5.99 billion, or $1.46 a share, from $6.5 billion, or $1.60, a year earlier, the New York-based firm said today in a statement. Earnings excluding some items were $1.59 a share, topping the $1.31 average estimate of 29 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Revenue slid 2.3 percent to $25.4 billion from a year earlier.

Quarterly results may take a back seat to questions today about the health of Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, 58, who said July 1 that he would soon undergo radiation and chemotherapy for throat cancer. While Dimon said his prognosis is excellent and he'll be able to work during his eight-week treatment, the announcement raised fresh questions about succession planning at the bank he's run since 2006.

"There's definitely a Jamie premium in this stock that would come out if the market believed he was going to make a transition," said Marty Mosby, director of bank and equity strategies at Memphis, Tennessee-based broker-dealer Vining Sparks. "With someone as strong as Jamie, the trouble is that everybody else was part of a team who reported to him, and there's not a clear second-in-command or frontrunner to take over."

JPMorgan climbed 2.1 percent to $57.45 at 7:26 a.m. in New York. The shares declined 3.7 percent this year through yesterday, compared with the 2.8 percent advance of the 24- company KBW Bank Index.

The lender warned investors in May to expect Wall Street's trading slump to continue through the second quarter, saying that fixed income and equities trading revenue could drop 20 percent from a year earlier. Fixed-income clients are making fewer bets amid low volatility and the Federal Reserve's move to slow bond purchases, Daniel Pinto, 51, JPMorgan's investment banking chief, said that month.

There were encouraging signs toward the end of the second quarter, including an improvement in "some markets activity," Dimon said in today's statement.

Fixed-income trading revenue fell 15 percent from a year earlier to $3.5 billion, beating the $3.14 billion average of analysts' estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Equity-trading revenue dropped 10 percent to $1.2 billion on lower derivatives sales, matching the analysts' estimates.

Companywide revenue of $25.4 billion surpassed the $23.9 billion average estimate of analysts with better-than-predicted results in trading and investment banking.

Investment banks may have to wait until 2016 before a significant improvement, Pinto told investors in May. Compensation also will decline if results fail to rebound, and the firm may eventually cut jobs, Chief Financial Officer Marianne Lake said in June.

Wells Fargo & Co., the most valuable U.S. bank, posted second-quarter profit last week that rose 3.8 percent on lower credit costs, while Citigroup Inc. said yesterday that net income fell 96 percent as the company agreed to pay $7 billion to resolve a mortgage-related probe. Bank of America Corp., the second-biggest U.S. lender by assets, is scheduled to report results tomorrow.

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