By David Benoit 

JPMorgan Chase & Co. said Tuesday that fourth-quarter profit jumped 21%.

The nation's largest bank reported a profit of $8.52 billion, or $2.57 a share. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected earnings of $2.35 a share. A year earlier, the bank reported a profit of $7.07 billion, or $1.98 per share.

Revenue rose 9% to $28.33 billion from $26.11 billion a year ago, topping analysts' expectations for $27.87 billion.

Growth was strong in JPMorgan's corporate and investment bank, with revenue rising 31% to $9.47 billion. That was partly because of an easy comparison: Year-ago results were hampered by dismal trading across the industry, particularly in bonds, when market turmoil dried up volume.

Banks are struggling with how to deal with continually low rates. The Federal Reserve cut its benchmark rate again in October, its third cut last year, and JPMorgan's lending margins fell. Lower rates tend to reduce what banks can charge for loans, though they can also fuel demand for loans and lower a bank's deposit costs.

JPMorgan's net interest income, the amount it makes from lending minus the interest it pays out, slipped 1% to $14.17 billion. That was the first year-over-year decline since the third quarter of 2015, just before the Fed began a series of nine rate increases.

JPMorgan shares soared throughout 2019 to all-time highs, up more than 40% for the year. Despite the increased cost, the bank continued buying back stock in 2019, helping lift its per-share earnings.

Shares rose about 2% to $139.93 in premarket trading Tuesday.

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Write to David Benoit at david.benoit@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 14, 2020 07:20 ET (12:20 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.
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