First quarter results were strong at JPMorgan Chase & Co. Residential originations climbed and earnings maintained.
Total residential lending volume was $53.8 billion, an earnings announcement today indicated. The latest activity climbed from $49.8 billion in the fourth quarter and $48.8 billion in the first quarter 2007.
The total included residential mortgage originations of $47.1 billion, up from $40.0 billion in the prior quarter, and home equity loan business of $6.7 billion, falling from $9.8 billion.
Mortgage brokers were responsible for $10.6 billion of first quarter activity, while the company's retail originators generated $12.6 billion. Correspondent lenders sold JPMorgan $12.0 billion, and negotiated transactions amounted to $11.9 billion.
The New York based company, which reports assets of $1.6 trillion, said its third-party mortgage servicing portfolio was $627.1 billion on March 31, up from $546.1 billion a 12 months earlier. HELs on its balance sheet were $95.0 billion, while mortgage holdings were $60.9 billion.
Even after adding $2.5 billion to allowance for credit losses, JPMorgan still earned $2.4 billion, off from $3.0 billion the prior period and dropping from $4.8 billion a year earlier. Net income from mortgage banking was $132 million, compared with $84 million in the first quarter of 2007.
"Market conditions and the credit environment remained challenging," Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon said in the statement. "Our expectation is for the economic environment to continue to be weak and for the capital markets to remain under stress. These factors have affected, and are likely to continue to negatively impact, our firm's credit losses, overall business volumes and earnings -- possibly through the remainder of the year, or longer."
He went on to welcome employees of Bear Stearns -- which JPMorgan plans to acquire later this quarter.
Headcount was reported at 182,166, an increase of 5,852 from March 31, 2007.