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Strong earnings propel shares of JPMorgan, First Republic; Wells Fargo slides

The first day of 2019 fourth-quarter earnings saw stronger-than-expected results despite bleak earnings expectations for most large banks.

First Republic Bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc. all saw their stocks jump after reporting results that outperformed consensus analyst estimates. The market also punished Wells Fargo & Co. shares after the bank reported lower earnings due to legal issues, however.

First Republic reported 2019 fourth-quarter net income available to common shareholders of $235.6 million, or $1.39 per share. The S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus GAAP EPS estimate for the quarter was $1.28. The company's stock is up about 5.26% around 11:14 a.m. ET.

The "strong core beat" was due to robust loan and deposit growth and wealth management strength, improved efficiency and lower-than-expected provisions, Jefferies analysts wrote in a research note on the company's results.

JPMorgan reported net income applicable to common stockholders of $8.09 billion, or $2.57 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2019. The S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus GAAP EPS estimate for the fourth quarter of 2019 was $2.36. The company's stock was up about 2.16% around 11:14 a.m. ET.

The drivers of JPMorgan's EPS upside were better fee income performance and lower credit costs, Baird analyst David George wrote in a research note.

Citigroup posted 2019 fourth-quarter net income of $4.98 billion, or $2.15 per share. The S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus GAAP EPS estimate for the quarter was $1.81. The company's stock was up about 2.15% around 11:15 a.m. ET.

The results were primarily driven by interactive broker trading, higher costs and credit in-line with expectations, Jefferies analysts wrote.

Wells Fargo reported net income applicable to common stock of $2.55 billion, or 60 cents per share. The S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus GAAP EPS estimate for the quarter was $1.12.

The company's stock was down about 3.81% around 11:15 a.m. ET. In a research note, Jefferies analysts described Wells Fargo's 2019 fourth-quarter EPS, which was lower due to a big litigation reserve and other heightened expenses, as "messy."