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Industry Spotlight > Broker Dealers

Big Financial Firms Set for 'Lackluster' Q3'18 Earnings

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As the markets experience downdrafts and volatility, the major banks and broker-dealers are set to report earnings. Friday’s announcements include performance updates from JPMorgan, Citigroup and Wells Fargo.

As a group, the KBW Bank Index weakened almost 2% on Thursday, more than the broader market indexes, which were down about 1.7%. Year to date, the bank index is down 4.6%, and the KBW Broker-Dealer Index is off about 2% for the year. That compares to a 1.6% uptick in the S&P 500 so far in 2018.

“We expect relatively lackluster 3Q18 earnings results for the banks, given both formal and informal downward revisions to loan growth and net interest margin outlooks coming out of several investment conferences last month,” according to a recent report by Raymond James analyst David Long and his colleagues.

“Indeed, with relatively soft industry loan data this quarter coupled with the impacts from the flattening yield curve and little change in short-term Libor rates, we see earnings outlooks continuing to be rationalized intro/through the reporting period.”

Analysts with Keefe, Bruyette & Woods (now owned by Stifel) expect JPMorgan’s earnings to come in at $2.32 per share, ahead of consensus estimate on higher revenues.

Overall, KBW anticipates deposit growth to be positive in 2018 at 1.4% for JPM, Citi, Bank of America and Wells Fargo. But its analysts see the growth rate down around 200 basis points from 2017.

As for Wells Fargo, which analysts forecast will have EPS of $1.19, the decline in loans has “outpaced the decline in deposits and the loan-to-deposit ratio has actually declined 330 basis points on a comparable basis,” according to KBW’s latest report on the troubled bank.

On Monday, Bank of America is set to share its Q3 results, followed by Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs on Tuesday.

KBW is bullish on BofA, explaining in a note Thursday that its earnings growth is being “driven by expense and capital return, which should continue despite market sell-off. Also, BAC should benefit from securities repricing higher and, given the company is bigger in fixed income, currencies and commodities (FICC) credit trading than peers, it could see better trading revenues as a result.”

The consensus estimate for BofA earnings is $0.62.


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