JPMorgan profit beats estimates as tax bill and expenses fall

Tue Jul 14, 2015 2:18pm EDT
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By Sweta Singh and Richa Naidu

(Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N: Quote), kicking off the second-quarter earnings season for U.S. banks, reported a stronger-than-expected rise in profit on Tuesday, helped by a drop in legal and restructuring expenses and a smaller tax bill.

Like other banks, the biggest U.S. lender by assets has been under pressure to cut costs because low interest rates have weighed on revenue for far longer than expected.

At the same time, regulators have demanded that banks hold more capital and hire additional staff to control risks and comply with new regulations.

JPMorgan's non-interest expenses fell 6 percent to $14.50 billion in the quarter, helped by efforts to streamline its business as well as lower legal and mortgage banking expenses.

Legal expenses fell 57 percent to $291 million.

The bank paid an effective tax rate of 25 percent, down from 30 percent in the same quarter last year, as its tax bill dropped 13 percent to $2.81 billion.

That helped net income attributable to common shareholders rise to $5.78 billion, or $1.54 per share, from $5.57 billion, or $1.46 per share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of $1.44 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.   Continued...

A view of the exterior of the JP Morgan Chase & Co. Corporate headquarters in the Manhattan borough of New York City, May 20, 2015. REUTERS/Mike Segar