Piper Jaffray (NYSE:PJC) swung to a profit in the fourth quarter amid a surge in investment banking revenue, one year after the firm took a hit from a large impairment charge.
The company said its profit for the quarter was $11.8 million, or 67 cents a share, compared with a loss of $116.4 million, or $7.38 a share, in the same period last year when Piper Jaffray recorded a $120.3 million goodwill impairment charge. Net revenue was up 51% to $140.9 million.
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Analysts were looking for per-share earnings of 69 cents on $130 million in revenue.
Investment banking revenue surged 69% to $82.4 million, while asset management, a smaller segment, saw a 6.4% jump in revenue. Piper Jaffray’s brokerage business recorded revenue of $38 million, a 35% decline from a year earlier.
Total non-interest expenses fell to $118.1 million, a 44% drop.
Wall Street investment banks like Minnesota-based Piper have faced dwindling demand for investment services in recent quarters, as economic concerns have scared away clients.
“We produced solid results for the quarter and the year despite adverse market conditions facing several of our businesses,” CEO Andrew S. Duff said in a statement. “Compared to the prior quarter, strong performance in M&A and public finance, and improved results in equities, more than offset weaker results in our fixed income trading businesses, while our equity capital raising and asset management businesses were flat sequentially.”
Shares of Piper Jaffray were up 88 cents, or 2.27%, to $39.63 a share in early morning trading Wednesday.