Though news flow around the US-China trade war and Fed action & commentary have dominated investor attention in the recent past, last week belonged to the US banks. The Q3 earnings season kicked off and performance of the US banks came in mostly positive despite analysts expecting a weak quarter. BofA and Morgan Stanley were the standouts, while Goldman was weaker.
BofA reported better than expected driven by IB, Consumer Banking and Wealth Management. Trading was better than expected contrary to industry trend. Both fixed income and equity business were in line with the expectations.
Morgan Stanley posted the best Q3 revenue in a decade with earnings exceeding expectation. FICC did well owing to the strong activity in credit and government bonds while equities were in line with the estimate. IB did slightly better while wealth management posted marginally lesser earnings than expected.
JP Morgan was the standout performer for Q3 with its net income and revenue both exceeding expectations primarily driven by IB and Consumer Banking. Equities were lighter while fixed income and bonds were stronger than estimate.
Citi’s Q3 beat estimate owing to its trading strength. FICC was better than expected driven by higher rates. Equity business was in line with the expectations
Wells Fargo reported a miss slightly vs. estimates on the back of ongoing restructuring. Net interest income was a shade lighter than expectation. A breather came from growth an beat in the consumer credit portfolio. Markets are now eagerly waiting for the new CEO to join.
Goldman underperformed due to weakness in Investment & Lending and IB. Trading strength was driven by equities and fixed income. The Investment Management revenue was in line with the expectations.
All eyes are now on European Bank earnings now. UBS reported a big miss last night, Barclays (26-Oct), Credit Suisse (30-Oct) and BNP (31-Oct). In other IB news, Jamie Dimon is in India and just gave a positive interview to CNBC TV18 (on JPMC’s plans in India, Indian economy), DB to cuts jobs in its Rates division as well and UBS may cut some workforce in its IB division.