The 5 Minute Guide to JPMorgan Chase

JPM Net Income (TTM) Chart

JPMorgan Chase is not only one of the largest financial services companies in America, it's among the biggest in the world. It's a sprawling company with many divisions and activities, and the full scope of its business can take weeks to understand completely.

In this article, we don't have weeks -- we have 300 seconds. So I'm here to give you a basic understanding of JPMorgan Chase and what it does, in the time it takes to order and claim a takeout latte. Ready? Deep breath, and here we go ...

JPM Net Income (TTM) Chart

JPM Net Income (TTM) data by YCharts

JPM Revenue (TTM) data by YCharts

Yes, the bank's size works to its advantage, but it's got the operational discipline to keep that bottom line up -- its TTM net profit margin, for example, is a close second to that of Wells Fargo.

Could it improve those numbers? Perhaps. Costs are still relatively high, with its efficiency ratio clocking in at over 60%. That's some distance above Wells Fargo, Bank of America, and Citigroup, all of which have lately hovered around the 54% level.

Morgan also socks away more of its money, due largely to a corporate culture that emphasizes a strong (or "fortress," in the company's memorable phrase) balance sheet.

There might not seem to be much difference between its Tier 1 capital ratio of 13.5% and Citigroup's 12.8%, Bank of America 12.4%, and Wells Fargo's 10.8%, but this does amount to tens of billions of dollars -- money that could earn more coin if it were freed to do so.

Time's up!

Lastly, on a valuation basis, Morgan lands a bit -- but not too much -- on the high side when compared to its incumbent bank amigos. It's got a one-year forward P/E of 10.5, cheaper than Wells Fargo at 11.8, but pricier than Bank of America's 9.6 and, especially, Citigroup's 8.4.

So that's my bank-in-a-box digest of JPMorgan Chase's business, and how it compares to its peers. Enjoy your coffee as you drink all of that in.

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Eric Volkman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Wells Fargo. The Motley Fool has the following options: short May 2016 $52 puts on Wells Fargo. The Motley Fool recommends Bank of America. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days . We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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