Financial Business Review: Big Banks Under Investigation, MetLife’s Surprise and Not-So-Progressive Margins

Nine of the top banks, including Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), are being investigated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, in regards to their overdraft protection programs and their justifications as to the size of their overdraft charges, according to a Bloomberg report. The action could well pose another threat to a major source of income for the companies.

MetLife (NYSE:MET) mistakenly posted some first quarter figures on its website ahead of next Thursday’s official release date, and now is releasing a preliminary version of those results: the firm expects to post operating earnings of $1.37 per share, which would beat consensus of $1.25.

Investing Insights: MetLife’s Earnings Blunder.

Shares of NCR (NYSE:NCR) jump, following its first quarter statement that handily exceeds consensus. As opposed to Met’s industry peers, its net margins more than doubled, along with a report of ‘solid growth in its financial services segment, particularly with U.S. regional lenders and in emerging markets’. The firm’s rivals are now trying to catch up, after delaying upgrades for their ATMs during the recent times of economic and financial chaos.

Progressive (NYSE:PGR) CEO Glenn Renwick’s warning to investors that the company might experience margin difficulties due to claims cost jumps, causes shares to slide. He also noted that “Severity trends in most coverages are increasing and, while frequency trends are still generally favorable, it’s a dangerous combination that can change quickly.”

Short-term cash lender EZCorp (NASDAQ:EZPW) shares visit 52-week lows following a fiscal second quarter earnings per share report that missed estimates, although profit rose 17 percent at the same time. Full-year guidance was lowered, projecting earnings per share in the current year at $2.95 tops, which is below an earlier estimate of $3.05.

Don’t Miss: Major Investigation Could Snuff $31.6 Billion Business for Banks.