JPMorgan suspends stock buyback until it corrects trading losses
Monday, May 21, 2012 2:04 PM
JPMorgan Chase & Co. has suspended repurchases of its stock while it tries to get out of money-losing derivatives trades that have cost it at least $2 billion, CEO Jamie Dimon said today, Reuters reported.
He said the bank would maintain its dividend.
It is the first time Dimon has said the bank will change how it manages its capital in the wake of what he has called "egregious mistakes" in derivatives trades.
Speaking at an investor conference, Dimon said the bank was holding off on share buybacks to make sure it stays on its planned "glide path" of building capital to reach rising regulatory requirements.
In March, following a new round of stress tests, JPMorgan won permission from the Federal Reserve to spend as much as $12 billion buying back stock this year and another $3 billion early next year.
In April, Dimon said in a letter in the company's annual report that buybacks at prices under $45 a share were good for stockholders.
JPMorgan's stock has lost about $28 billion of market value since the trading losses were announced May 10.
Dimon said the bank intends to restart stock buybacks once it has replenished the lost capital.
The bank is capitalized well enough to easily withstand the losses, according to analysts. It had $190 billion of shareholders' equity supporting $2.32 trillion in assets at the end of March, Reuters said.
Dimon warned on May 10 that the trading losses could increase by $1 billion, or more, before the bank unwinds the trades, which could take the rest of this year. Some analysts have estimated the losses could reach $5 billion.