Big Four Banks Had Double-Digit Earnings Growth in Q1

April 16, 5:00 pm EST

With Bank of America earnings this morning, we’ve now heard from the big four banks (JPM, BAC, WFC and C).

The expectations were set for just 2% earnings yoy earnings growth from the group.  We’ve had positive earnings surprises in each, for an average earnings growth of 11%.  That’s double-digit earnings growth for the biggest banks in the country, in an earnings season that has been forewarned as an “earnings recession.”

Remember, never underestimate the appetite for Wall Street and corporate America to dial down expectations when given the opportunity.  They’ve done it, and we’re seeing positive surprises.

Now, we’ve talked about the slate IPOs coming from the Silicon Valley hype machine.  As I’ve said, Lyft and Uber, dumping shares on the public at a combined $140 billion plus valuation, may mark the end to the Silicon Valley boom cycle.

As we know, Lyft was valued as high as $25 billion when it started trading publicly.  Some paid a $25 billion valuation for the privilege of owning a company that did a little over $2 billion in revenue, while losing almost a billion dollars — with slowing revenue growth and widening losses. It has now shed about $9 billion in market cap in thirteen days.

Uber is on deck.  Uber filed its S-1 this week.  In this public disclosure document, we find a company that has privately raised $24 billion, valued at $68 billion in the private market, that has been thought to float shares at as much as $120 billion valuation.  This is a company that (like Lyft) also with slowing revenue growth and widening losses.  Losses?  The S-1 shows a swing from $ 4 billion loss in 2017, to a near $1 billion profit in 2018.  But if we back out the a couple of unusual items (like the gain of a divestiture of some foreign businesses and an unrealized gain in an “investment”) the company lost $4.2 billion on $11 billion in revenue.

As we discussed last month, the hyper-growth valuations on these perceived hyper-growth companies, are unlikely to get hyper-growth at this stage.  That will be a problem for those taking the bait on the IPO.

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