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While Washington Stews, You Can Cash In on the Biggest "Tax-Inversion" Deal in History

Back in June 2012, we recommended that you pick up shares of Big Pharma player Abbott Laboratories Inc. (NYSE: ABT). The reason: Abbott was planning to split in two at the end of the year, meaning folks who took our advice would end up with stakes in two companies for the price of one.

There was more than bargain-basement thinking at work here.

You see, these corporate breakups – known as spin-offs – have a habit of turning into market-beating profit plays. And the newly minted spin-off firms often end up as takeover fodder – also at big profits.

Abbott followed part of that blueprint.

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    JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) Earnings: 34% Profit Gain Thanks to this Business

    JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) reported third-quarter earnings today (Friday) of $1.40 a share, beating increased estimates of $1.21 a share.

    JPM, the largest U.S. bank by assets, earned a record $5.7 billion in the quarter, 34% higher than the $4.3 billion or $1.02 reported for the same period a year ago. The strong revenue results also easily topped forecasts.

    The impressive numbers were thanks to the bank's robust and growing mortgage and credit business. Mortgage volume was up 29%, and core loan growth grew 10%.

    The notable uptick in both segments bodes well for the housing market and U.S. economy, suggesting the real estate market is staging a recovery and consumers are getting more comfortable spending.

    "Importantly, we believe the housing market has turned the corner," CEO Jamie Dimon said in a statement.

    As a result of improved mortgage and credit conditions, JPM reduced its reserves (cushion) for loan losses by $900 million.

    "All in, we think it's a good quarter for JP Morgan Chase, and other banks should see some of the same benefits," Glenn Schoor, an analyst at Nomura Securities told the Financial Times.

    Here's a closer look into the third quarter.

    JPM Earnings: London Whale Trade Still a Big Deal

    Still under scrutiny from the dicey derivative bets made in the bank's London Chief Investment Office, the bank's losses from the failed hedge strategy grew in the third quarter by $449 million.

    Since the trade, dubbed the London Whale, was uncovered in the second quarter, losses have cost JPM some $6 billion. Under the worst case scenario, the bank said the losses could widen by $1.7 billion.

    CEO Dimon said in a conference call that the bank doesn't anticipate further losses of that enormity and added that the bank has appreciatively reduced the scope of risks in the underlying portfolio.

    Anxious to put the matter to rest and behind him, Dimon called renewed focus on the losses a "sideshow" in an otherwise stellar quarter.

    "Hopefully we're not going to be talking about it anymore," he said in a statement.

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