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Bank earnings started off ‘mixed’ and ‘messy’ — and that’s likely to continue

January 12, 2018

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Shares of big banks have been on a tear since mid-2017 as investors began to anticipate a better business environment thanks to an improving global economy and business-friendly policies from Washington.

But—and there’s always a but with bank earnings, it seems—fourth-quarter earnings season started with a slog, and that’s likely to continue.

For the quarter, most banks will be recording big, one-time charges that stem from the tax overhaul, as MarketWatch’s Francine McKenna has reported. (For a sense of just how “muddied” earnings will be, J.P. Morgan estimates per-share losses at Citigroup C, +1.19% of $6.07 because of the tax changes, versus per-share earnings of $1.22 with the tax hit stripped out.)

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