“Too Big to Fail”, Banks Rise Amidst Recession Fears

Just over a month ago, rising interest rates, slowing deposits, risk mismanagement, and “social-media fuelled” mania saw Silicon Valley Bank, a mass tech lender, collapse in a “classic bank run” which brought back fears from the 2008 global financial meltdown, marking the second-largest demise of an American financial institution since that of Washington Mutual back in 2008. Despite the industry-wide tumult, America’s largest banks – JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup, and Wells Fargo – reported bumper profits and “banner earnings” for the year’s first quarter, “making billions more than they and analysts had projected.”

The world’s largest bank by market capitalization, JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), blew away analyst expectations, reporting a quarterly earnings per share (EPS) figure of $4.10, a stellar 21.5% higher than the expected figure of $3.37, while reported revenue came in 7.2% higher-than-expected for the quarter. JPMorgan saw its quarterly EPS figure surge by an impressive 56% year-over-year from $2.63 in the first quarter of 2022 to $4.10 for the first quarter of 2023. The recent banking liquidity crisis failed to depress JPMorgan’s bottom-line figure, cementing the “too big to fail” phenomenon for the American multinational banking behemoth.

Citigroup (NYSE: C), the world-renowned American multinational investment bank and financial services corporation, reported an impressive quarterly earnings per share (EPS) figure of $2.19, 29.8% higher than general market consensus estimates, with reported revenue coming in 6.9% higher-than-expected for the quarter. Citigroup saw its EPS figure of $2.19 for the quarter increase 8% from the prior-year period, reflecting higher net income amidst rising interest rates and a mere 1% reduction in average diluted shares outstanding.

Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) reported its first-quarter earnings per share (EPS) figure of $1.23, 7.9% higher than the expected $1.14, while reported revenue came in 3.3% higher than expected. Wells Fargo saw its quarterly EPS figure increase by 35% year-over-year from $0.91 in the prior year’s first quarter to $1.23.

Sources: Bloomberg, CNBC, Reuters, Financial Times, The New York Times, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup, Wells Fargo 

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