Kicking off the fourth-quarter earnings season, JPMorgan (JPM) reported a 6.6% drop in its fourth-quarter profits early Wednesday, tied to a 23% decline in fixed-income trading revenue and higher legal costs. Wells Fargo (WFC), though, said its quarterly earnings improved close to 2% in late 2014.
JPMorgan’s net income was $4.93 billion, or $1.19 a share, in Q4’14 vs. $5.28 billion, or $1.30, a year earlier. Excluding $990 million in legal expenses and other one-time charges, earnings per share were $1.33, which beat analysts’ estimates.
Net income for the year was a record $21.8 billion, on revenue of $97.9 billion, as legal costs shrank $8.2 billion from 2013. For the fourth quarter, revenue declined 2.3% from a year earlier to $23.6 billion.
The bank’s fixed-income trading sales were $2.5 billion during the period, when it sold its commodities unit and experienced lower revenue tied to credit and securitized products. Meanwhile, equity trading revenue rose 25% year over year to $1.1 billion on gains in the derivatives and prime-brokerage business, and net income at the corporate and investment bank rose 3% to $972 million.
JPMorgan retail bank branches have 3,090 financial advisors and 21,039 private bankers, according to its latest results.
Net new assets in the period for these advisors were $3.3 billion in Q4’14, down from $4.3 billion in the third quarter and $3.6 billion a year ago. Total client investment assets came to $213.5 billion, with 39% held in management accounts.