Chin Up in the Downswing

positive economic news during recession

JPMorgan Chase, Regions Bank Enjoy Bump From Q1 Numbers; America Goes Back to the Movies

April 16, 2009 05:30 PM
by Anne Szustek
Among today’s positive news from the business and financial world: JPMorgan Chase posts Q1 revenues of nearly 48 percent; Regions Financial expects Q1 profits and the movie theater segment is poised for continued strong performance.

JPMorgan Chase: Earnings and Prestige Get a Boost

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Today, JPMorgan Chase reported a decrease in profits of 10 percent during the first quarter of 2009 from this time last year. But what the company lost may be overshadowed by its gains in revenue and stature. The financial institution’s revenue grew by 48 percent during the three-month period to $25.03 billion. Plus, the company is still basking in the glow from the response to JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon’s letter to shareholders; some financial pundits have termed him the “next Warren Buffett” for his writing style and financial analysis.

Regions Bank Projects First-Quarter Profits

Birmingham, Ala.-based Regions Financial Corp. saw its shares go up by some 36 percent as of 3:30 pm EDT, after regulatory filing comments from company CEO Dowd Ritter indicated that the financial institution, contrary to expectations, is to post first-quarter profits. Regions “was expected to report a loss of 41 cents per share, according to the average estimate of 15 analysts compiled by Bloomberg,” reports the financial news company. The bank is seeing growth in deposits on the back of a flood of new accounts and record numbers of mortgage applications. 

Hollywood Blockbusters on Wall Street

What BusinessWeek calls “modest hits,” such as the “Hannah Montana” movie and Vin Diesel film “Fast and Furious,” have pushed up box office records the past two weekends. This summer, a season traditionally featuring more blockbusters, is poised to bring even more growth to the movie theater segment, especially given that theaters have fixed operating costs, translating into more profit. The U.S. movie theater segment’s first-quarter receipts are up some 10-15 percent year-on-year, according to BusinessWeek. The stock price of movie theater operator Regal has gone up some 42 percent over the past three months in relation to attendance. Over the same period, shares of other theater chains Carmike and Cinemark have also shown a marked increase, up 30 percent and 25 percent, respectively. 
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