J.P. Morgan Chase said its net income fell 23% in the fourth quarter from a year ago, on an 18% drop in revenue.

For the year, profit was up 9 percent to $19.0 billion, while revenue dropped 5%, to $97.2 billion.

Leading the way down in the fourth quarter was its investment banking business. In the last three months of 2011, the company recorded $776 million in net income from that line of business. That was down $775 million from the year before, when it contributed $1.5 billion to net income. 

Net revenue included a $567 million loss from debit valuation adjustments on certain structured and derivative liabilities resulting from the tightening of credit spreads. Excluding that impact, net revenue was $4.9 billion and net income was $1.1 billion.

Net revenue was $4.4 billion, compared with $6.2 billion in the prior year.

Investment banking fees were down 39% to $1.1 billion, consisting of debt underwriting fees of $553 million, down 40%, equity underwriting fees of $169 million, down 65%, and advisory fees of $397 million, down 6%.

Fixed Income Markets revenue was $2.5 billion, down 13%. Equity Markets revenue was $779 million, down 31%, primarily reflecting lower market volumes.

"The firm's returns on tangible common equity for the fourth quarter of 2011 and the full year 2011 were 11% and 15%, respectively. We believe these returns were reasonable given the environment, although the return for the fourth quarter was modestly disappointing," chief executive Jamie Dimon said in its earnings press release.

JPMorgan Chase reported net income of $3.7 billion for the fourth quarter of 2011, compared with $4.8 billion for the fourth quarter of 2010.

Earnings per share were $0.90 for the fourth quarter of 2011, compared with $1.12 for the fourth quarter of 2010.

Full-year 2011 net income was a record $19.0 billion, compared with $17.4 billion for the prior year.

Earnings per share were $4.48 for 2011, compared with $3.96 for 2010.

Tom Steinert-Threlkeld writes for Securities Technology Monitor.