04/13/2012 07:25 EDT | Updated 06/13/2012 05:12 EDT

JPMorgan Chase reports first-quarter earnings of $5.4 billion, beating analyst estimates

NEW YORK, N.Y. - JPMorgan Chase is reporting profit of $5.4 billion for the first three months of the year. The bank says it gave more mortgage loans and picked up investment banking business.

The largest U.S. bank by assets says it earned $1.31 a share, handily beating Wall Street estimates of $1.16 per share.

With interest rates hitting historic lows in the first quarter, JPMorgan Chase says mortgage loans grew 33 per cent from the same period last year.

Many corporations also issued debt in the first quarter through JPMorgan, which ranked first in debt underwriting. But mortgage-related litigation continues to be a huge issue: The bank set aside $2.5 billion to fight its legal battles.