Bank of America Corporation
) reported first quarter earnings of 3 cents per share, missing the
Zacks Consensus Estimate by 10 cents. This also compares
unfavorably with the earnings of 17 cents in the prior-year
However, excluding certain nonrecurring items, BofA earned 34
cents per share, substantially higher than the Zacks Consensus
Results for the reported quarter were significantly impacted by
negative valuation adjustments related to the narrowing of the
company's credit spreads. However, the sale of non-core assets made
it possible for the company to remain profitable.
Results for the quarter benefited from significant pre-tax gains
from certain non-recurring items including debt and trust-preferred
repurchases ($1.2 billion), equity investment ($0.8 billion) and
the sale of debt securities ($0.8 billion). Also, there were
certain negative one-time items including fair value adjustment on
structured liabilities ($3.3 billion), debit valuation adjustments
) on trading liabilities ($1.5 billion), annual retirement-eligible
compensation costs ($0.9 billion) and litigation expense ($0.8
billion). Adjusting these nonrecurring items, the company's
earnings came in at 34 cent per share.
The company made significant progress in strengthening its
balance sheet during the quarter, reflected by narrowing of credit
spreads. Record Tier 1 common equity ratio, increased
time-to-required funding, global excess liquidity sources as well
as growth in commercial loan balances were among the positives
during the quarter.
Moreover, the core results were aided by reduced non-interest
expense and a substantially lower provision for credit losses. On
the flip side were lower interest and non-interest income.
Quarter in Detail
Fully taxable-equivalent revenue (net of interest expense) was
$22.5 billion, down 17% from $27.1 billion in the prior-year
quarter. However, revenue surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of
Net interest income on a fully taxable-equivalent basis was
$11.1 billion, down 11% from $12.4 billion in the year-ago quarter.
Net interest yield decreased 16 basis points (bps) year over year
to 2.51%. Reductions in consumer loan balances and yields were
largely responsible for the downfall, which was partially offset by
a reduction in long-term debt balance.
Non-interest income came in at $11.4 billion, down 22% from
$14.7 billion in the prior-year quarter, due to negative valuation
adjustments on structured liabilities and higher DVA losses.
Non-interest expense was $19.1 billion, down 6% from $20.3
billion in the year-ago quarter. The decrease was primarily driven
by lower litigation expense and a reduction in mortgage-related
assessments and waivers costs.
Book value per share as of March 31, 2012 was $19.83, compared
with $20.09 as of December 31, 2011 and $21.15 as of March 31,
2011. Tangible book value per share as of March 31, 2012 was
$12.87, compared with $12.95 as of December 31, 2011 and $13.21 as
of March 31, 2011.
With the gradual recovery of the economy, credit quality
continued to improve during the quarter with net charge-offs
declining across all major portfolios from the prior-year quarter.
Provision for credit losses decreased 37% year over year to $2.4
As of March 31, 2012, nonperforming loans, leases and foreclosed
properties ratio was 3.10%, down 30 bps from the prior-year period.
Net charge-off ratio decreased 81 bps year over year to 1.80%.
At the end of the reported quarter, the company's Tier 1 common
equity ratiowas 10.78% compared with 9.86% at the end of the prior
quarter and 8.64% at the end of the prior-year quarter. Tangible
common equity ratio was 6.58% compared with 6.64% at the end of the
prior quarter and 6.10% at the end of the prior-year quarter.
BofA's competitors --
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Wells Fargo & Company
The Goldman Sachs Group Inc.
)-- upheld the banking banner with better-than-expected results.
Marked recovery of the bond and equity market and consequent
revenue growth primarily helped these banks report strong
Though these mega banks were not able to deliver impressive
results in the last few quarters due to weakness in the wider
economy and fundamental pressures on the sector, these banking
giants overcame the shortcomings with help of gradually improving
macroeconomic elements, such as rising consumer spending and better
However, with mixed first quarter results,
) failed to impress investors. The results were primarily hurt by
accounting charges. Due to the tightening of credit spreads, the
company incurred a loss of $1.3 billion for credit valuation
) and debt valuation adjustment (
Through the sale of its non-core assets, Bank of America has
been striving hard to raise its capital levels. This effort has
resulted in success with respect to clearing the most difficult
stress test (fourth round) conducted by the Federal Reserve. This
implies that the company will be able to withstand another
However, BofA had not requested any permission for new capital
deployment, so it will continue to pay 1 cent per share as
quarterly dividend and will not be repurchasing any shares.
We are also concerned about Bank of America's elevated cost
structure. Though operating expenses started declining in the
recent quarters due to the implementation of Project New BAC, we
believe that as the company is in the process of addressing legacy
issues and continues to invest in its franchise. Consequently,
expenses will remain high in the near term.
Nevertheless, the company is poised to benefit from its
large-scale operations and faster-than-expected improvement in
Overall, the company is making every effort to keep itself
afloat. Measures like realigning the balance sheet in accordance
with regulatory changes and shedding non-core assets to strengthen
its capital position vouch for its good business intention.
Following the announcement of first quarter results, the stock
was up about 2.8% in before-market trade.
The shares of BofA retain a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into
a short-term Hold rating. Also, we maintain a long-term Neutral
recommendation on the shares.
BANK OF AMER CP (
): Free Stock Analysis Report
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