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JPMorgan Shares Pop After Bank Says It Will Reach Key Returns Target Earlier Than Planned

Carlo Allegri | Reuters
  • The lender said that a 17% return on tangible common equity "remains our target and may be achieved in 2022," according to a presentation.
  • That's a switch from earlier this year, when CFO Jeremy Barnum warned that headwinds, including rising costs, would cause the bank to miss its target for the next one to two years.
  • JPMorgan shares rose 6.2%.

JPMorgan Chase on Monday reversed course on guidance it gave in January, saying the bank could achieve a key performance target this year after all.

The lender said that a 17% return on tangible common equity "remains our target and may be achieved in 2022," according to a presentation. That's a switch from earlier this year, when CFO Jeremy Barnum warned that headwinds, including rising costs, would cause the bank to miss its target for the next one to two years.

"There's a very good chance this year" of hitting the target and exceeding it next year if there's a "benign" credit environment, CEO Jamie Dimon told investors Monday in opening remarks for the bank's Investor Day meeting.

JPMorgan shares rose 6.2%.

JPMorgan is holding its first Investor Day since 2020 in response to questions from investors and analysts about the bank's strategy and investments. The bank's shares began tanking in January after it revealed an unexpected jump in fourth-quarter expenses and management said that it would likely miss its 17% target for returns.

On Monday, the bank said that while guidance around 2022 expenses was unchanged at about $77 billion, rising interest rate expectations as the Federal Reserve combats inflation may be proving a boost. The bank said net interest income in 2022 could exceed $56 billion, well above the $50 billion estimate given in January.

By the fourth quarter, the bank will generate net interest income at a $66 billion annual clip, more than $20 billion higher than the 2021 level, on higher rates and loan growth.

The U.S. economy remains strong and borrowers of all kinds continued to repay their loans at a high rate, Barnum told analysts. The "unusually low" level of credit-card charge-offs will persist into next year, he said.

Before the investor meeting, analysts had wanted greater detail on the types of investments in technology, personnel and acquisitions embedded within expectations for an 8% increase in expenses this year to $77 billion.

"This issue is certain to us: front-loaded spending for less certain back-ended benefits," veteran bank analyst Mike Mayo wrote in a January note in which he slashed his recommendation on JPMorgan shares.

Since then, JPMorgan executives realized that they erred in not giving more disclosure around their business plans, which include roughly $15 billion in investments for 2022 alone, according to a person with knowledge of the bank.

In recent years, the biggest U.S. bank by assets has aggressively invested in technology and personnel to compete with both traditional and emerging fintech players. That has helped it win market share in business lines from credit cards to deposits to Wall Street trading.

Apart from Dimon and his CFO, division heads including Daniel Pinto, Marianne Lake and Jennifer Piepszak gave presentations on Monday.

The slowdown in mergers and security issuance this year is hitting Wall Street hard, with a projected 45% drop in second-quarter investment banking fees from a year earlier, Pinto said. Trading activity, on the other hand, was more elevated than expected, climbing 15% to 20%, he said.

Executives announced several new product offerings, from installment loans to better compete with buy now, pay later players to a new remote wealth management offering called JPMorgan Personal Advisors.

JPMorgan shares have posted the worst performance among the six biggest U.S. banks, falling about 26% this year before Monday and exceeding the 19% drop of the KBW Bank Index.

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