Apr 9, 2020 - Health

Banks' first-quarter profits are expected to get rough

This illustration shows a dollar sign being cut with scissors

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Investors expect the earnings season that kicks off on Tuesday to be ugly.

What to watch: The banks are among the first to report. They still made a ton of money, but the results — and the companies' outlooks — will give insight into our current unprecedented halt in economic activity.

  • One example: Analysts expect a ramp-up of provisions for loan loss reserves. That's a sign the banks anticipate that borrowers won't be able to pay back loans.

By the numbers: The "big four" banks — JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citibank — are estimated to collectively bring in profits of about $20 billion in Q1, roughly $6 billion less than the same time last year, according to FactSet.

The calendar: JPMorgan and Wells Fargo release results on Tuesday. Bank of America and Citi report on Wednesday. So do Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs.

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