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JPMorgan Chase's profit falls

/ Source: The Associated Press

JPMorgan Chase and Co. on Wednesday said earnings fell in the fourth quarter due to costs related to its merger with Banc One and accounting changes.

The company's quarterly income declined to $1.67 billion, or 46 cents per share, from $1.86 billion, or 89 cents a share, a year ago. The latest quarter reflects merger costs of $324 million and accounting charges of $326 million that combined to reduce earnings by $650 million, or 18 cents per share. Excluding those items, net income was 64 cents per share. The year-ago results exclude figures for Banc One.

Revenue increased to $13 billion from $8.11 billion.

Analysts polled by Thomson First Call expected the company to report a profit of 68 cents per share on revenue of $13.38 billion for the quarter.

Revenue at the company's investment banking unit rose 10 percent, but operating income fell 18 percent to $660 million, as the positive effects of the merger were offset by higher compensation expenses and a reduced benefit from credit costs.

Return on equity, a key indicator of profitability, was 6 percent, compared to 17 percent a year earlier. The company's assets totaled $1.16 trillion as of Dec. 31.

The company's full-year earnings fell 34 percent to $4.47 billion, or $1.55 per share, from $6.72 billion, or $3.24 a share, a year ago. Revenue for the year totaled $43.1 billion, up from $33.39 billion a year earlier. Analysts expected the company to report earnings of $2.98 per share on $46.36 billion in revenue.