BofA profit jumps 9.4% on fixed-income gain, beats estimates

The Bank of America Corp. signage at its branch in New York.
The Bank of America Corp. signage at its branch in New York.PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

WASHINGTON (BLOOMBERG) - Bank of America Corp., the second-biggest U.S. lender, said profit rose 9.4 per cent on gains in fixed- income trading revenue and declines in expenses.

Fourth-quarter net income climbed to US$3.34 billion (S$4.8 billion), or 28 cents a share, from US$3.05 billion, or 25 cents, a year earlier, the company said Tuesday in a statement. Excluding accounting adjustments, profit was 29 cents a share, beating the 27-cent average estimate of 27 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

Chief Executive Officer Brian T. Moynihan, 56, is trimming expenses as low interest rates and volatile markets stymie revenue growth. Since taking over in 2010, he's dealt with charges tied to his predecessor's acquisitions of Countrywide Financial Corp. and Merrill Lynch & Co., which have contributed to more than US$70 billion in costs since the financial crisis.

"We saw solid customer activity in loan growth, deposits, and wealth management asset flows, and we returned more capital to our shareholders," Mr Moynihan said in the statement. "As we build on this progress, we will continue to invest in the future and manage expenses."

Total revenue rose 4.3 per cent to US$19.5 billion from a year earlier. Expenses fell 2 per cent to US$13.9 billion, matching the estimate of David Konrad, a Macquarie Group Ltd. analyst.

Adjusted revenue from trading operations rose 11 per cent US$2.65 billion, driven by fixed income, which climbed 20 per cent to US$1.76 billion-income. That beat the he US$1.55 billion average of four analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Revenue from equities trading slid 3 per cent to US$882 million. That compares with estimates of US$964 million. Net income for the full year more than tripled to US$15.9 billion.