Shares of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) reached a new 52-week high, touching $54.96 in the first hour of the trading session on May 22, 2013. The closing price of this major global bank reflected a solid year-to-date return of 20.8%. The trading volume for the session was 46.71 million shares, significantly higher than the average 24.60 million shares over the last 3 months.
Despite the strong price appreciation, this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock has plenty of upside left, given its strong estimate revisions over the last 60 days and expected year-over-year earnings growth of 9.19% for 2013.
A rise in the quarterly cash dividend, impressive first-quarter 2013 results – including an earnings surprise of 15.2% and the underlying strength in its business segments – as well as a strong capital position were the primary growth drivers for JPMorgan.
On May 21, JPMorgan announced a 26.7% hike in its quarterly dividend to 38 cents per share. The dividend will be paid on Jul 31 to shareholders of record as of Jul 5. This pegged the company’s quarterly dividend at its highest level.
On Apr 12, the company reported record earnings per share of $1.59, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.37 and the year-ago figure of $1.19. This marked the fifth straight quarter with a positive earnings surprise for JPMorgan. Results were mainly attributable to reduced non-interest expenses and provision for credit losses, partly offset by a fall in net revenue.
Estimate Revisions Show Strength
Over the last 60 days, 17 out of 21 estimates for 2013 have been revised upward, lifting the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 4.6% to $5.68 per share. For 2014, 13 out of 20 estimates moved higher over the same time frame, helping the Zacks Consensus Estimate advance 3.1% to $5.97 per share.
Other well performing banks include Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB), The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (GS) and Zions Bancorp. (ZION), all of which carry the same Zacks Rank as JPMorgan.
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