JPMorgan's earnings soar, but mortgage losses 'extraordinarily high'
JPMorgan Chase (JPM) earned $5.6 billion in the first quarter of 2011, or $1.28 per share, up 67% from the $3.3 billion earned in the year-ago period. Earnings also increased 15% from the previous quarter. The bank reported $25.7 billion in revenue during the first quarter, down from the $28.1 billion in the first quarter of 2010. CEO Jamie Dimon said the bank's credit card and wholesale business boosted profits during the period, but mortgage-related losses remain "extraordinarily high." "Unfortunately, these losses will continue for a while. Rest assured, we are fully engaged in fixing our problems and addressing our mistakes from the past, and we will strive to build the best mortgage business going forward," Dimon said. The bank's mortgage banking and other consumer loan department reported $937 million in losses for the quarter after a net income of $257 million from the year-ago period. Mortgage banking revenue fell to $114 million in the quarter, down from $962 million one year ago. Noninterest expenses at the bank's mortgage department reached $2.1 billion in the first quarter, a 69% increase driven by $650 million in "foreclosure-related" costs. Mortgage originations at JPMorgan Chase totaled $36.2 billion, up 14% from the comparable period last year, but dropped 29% from the previous quarter. The bank did narrow losses on its real estate portfolio, reporting a net loss there of $162 million, down from a $1.3 billion net loss in 1Q2010. Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter @JonAPrior.