Is JPMorgan Stock Still a Solid Buy for 2021?

The banking giant reports earnings in the second week of January

Dec 30, 2020 at 10:19 AM
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JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM) is the largest bank in the U.S. based on total assets and market cap. But JPM hasn’t had the best year when it comes down to overall stock growth, down 10% year-to-date despite a 30% quarterly advance. The banking giant will be one of the first blue-chips to step into the earnings confessional, with its quarterly report set for Jan. 15 before the market opens.

JPM beat analyst expectations on three out of four earnings reports released in 2020. However, in the last eight reports, the stock has averaged a muted post-earnings move of only 2%, regardless of direction.

The equity's options are reasonably priced right now though, even with earnings looming. The security sports a Schaeffer's Volatility Index (SVI) of 31%, which stands higher than just 15% of readings from the past year. This suggests options traders are pricing in relatively low volatility expectations at the moment. 

JPM has a forward dividend of $3.60 and a forward dividend yield of 2.87%.  JPMorgan will be paying a $0.90 dividend on January 31 to stockholders of record at the close of business on January 6. JPM has paid dividends since 1972.

As would be expected of the biggest market capitalization banking company in the world, JPMorgan has solid fundamentals. The only negative mark for JPM is the $11 billion in net profits it lost over the past 12 months, which can largely be attributed to the pandemic, as the company’s net income growth was consistent prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Between 2016 and 2019, JPMorgan had increased its net income by nearly $12 billion. Nonetheless, JPM still managed to increase its revenue by more than $3 billion over the past year, bringing its total revenue up to $118.8 billion. Furthermore, JPMorgan increased its revenue by more than $23 billion since 2016.

On top of everything, JPM also has an exceptional balance sheet with $1.29 trillion in cash and a relatively manageable $646 billion in debt. In general, it is difficult to imagine JPM stock not trading at a much higher price five years from now, especially if investors consider its significantly low price-earnings ratio of 16.30. Long-term JPM stock investors will likely see some nice gains through stock price appreciation and reliable dividends.


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