JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), the biggest U.S. bank, reported lower-than-expected third-quarter profit, while Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), the biggest U.S. home lender, posted a quarterly profit that matched analysts' estimates.
JPMorgan earned $5.6 billion, or $1.36 per share, for the quarter, compared with a loss of $380 million a year earlier. Analysts expected earnings of $1.38 per share.
JPMorgan missed estimates as high costs more than offset strength in its capital markets and lending businesses. Shares were little changed at $58.15 at 1:54 p.m. in New York.
Revenue for the quarter of $25.2 billion, up 5 percent on a year earlier. Revenue at the investment banking business fell by $600 million, with profits down by 34 percent.
Revenue at the asset management arm grew by $250 million to $3 billion, with profits up 20 percent.
"Our businesses continue to perform well," JP Morgan's chief executive officer Jamie Dimon, said in a statement today. "While challenges remain in the global economic recovery, the US economy is an exception, showing signs of steady improvement."
"Corporate America is in good shape, with strong balance sheets, and employment trends continue to be positive."
JPMorgan, the biggest fixed-income trading firm, is grappling with sluggish activity in that market caused by central bank intervention.
Wells Fargo's net income, meanwhile, rose 2.7 percent to $5.73 billion, or $1.02 a share, from $5.58 billion, or 99 cents, a year earlier. The bank matched estimates as fees from mortgage banking fell and lending margins narrowed. Shares of the San Francisco-based lender fell 1.3 percent to $49.54.
Wells Fargo faces slackening demand for mortgages as the housing market shifts away from a refinancing boom that propelled profits in earlier years. With interest rates still near record lows, Wells Fargo's net interest margin, a measure of profitability, has declined to the lowest in at least two decades.
Wells Fargo's third-quarter net interest margin fell to 3.06 percent, below the 3.13 percent average estimate of analysts.
Wells Fargo's revenue increased 3.6 percent to $21.2 billion from $20.5 billion a year earlier, beating the $21.1 billion average estimate of analysts.
Wells Fargo's loan portfolio increased 3.7 percent to $838.9 billion in the quarter from the same period a year earlier, led by a 13 percent jump in commercial and industrial loans. Expenses were up 1.2 percent to $12.2 billion as legal costs and foreclosure expenses increased.
Chief executive John Stumpf said the results "demonstrated strength".
"We continue to see signs of a steadily improving economy, and I remain optimistic about the opportunities ahead for Wells Fargo," he added.