JP Morgan cheers with profit hike

INVESTMENT banking giant JP Morgan Chase cheered markets with a $5.4bn (£3.4bn) quarterly profit yesterday, 13 per cent higher than a year ago, as its investment banking arm powered up.

Its result, the latest in a run of forecast-beating updates, boosted hopes that other major banks will also show gains as they report quarterly figures over the coming weeks.

Revenues rose seven per cent to $27.4bn while earnings per share were $1.27, above expectations of $1.21.

Chief executive Jamie Dimon, who led JP Morgan through the financial crisis, called the result “solid”.

But analysts said it would be tough to beat. “For this company to put up these kinds of numbers, given all the pressures the industry is facing, is phenomenal,” said Richard Bove, a Rochdale Securities bank analyst.

Investment banking profits soared 49 per cent as it hiked its fees by 37 per cent. In contrast, mortgage portfolios remained a weakness.