Earnings season is underway, and the first signs are positive.
JPMorgan (JPM), America’s biggest bank measured by assets, reported $14.3 billion in net income in the first three months of the year, or $4.50 per share. That was up from the fourth quarter net income of $12.1 billion, and nearly five times higher than the net income reported in the same period last year.
The bank’s profit was boosted primarily by $5.2 billion of credit reserves it stopped hanging onto as the economy improved and JPMorgan stopped worrying so much about customers defaulting on their loans.
The strong performance was “partially driven by a rapidly improving economy,” CEO Jamie Dimon said in the earnings statement.
Despite the better-than-expected performance, the low-interest-rate environment is still leaving its mark on the bank: Net interest income dropped 11% to $13 billion between January and March.
“Home Lending originations were very strong, up 40%, […] but we expect this to slow with the recent rise in interest rates,” Dimon said.
JPMorgan stocks was down 0.7% in premarket trading.
The bank will hold a conference call to discuss its performance later this morning.
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