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The Hidden Value in Bank of America's Recent Earnings

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- In light of the recent concerns surrounding financial institutions, in particular J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM), it remains unclear as to what direction Wall Street is leaning when it comes to beleaguered Bank of America (BAC) after its recent second-quarter earnings report.

What is clear to me is the company's strategy of rebuilding strong customer and client relationships is now paying off. But to some extent it seems Wall Street remains broadly unimpressed.

Based on some recent analysis, it seems many experts have latched on to the 10% sequential decline in the bank's operating revenue and 11% drop in net interest income. However, while examining Bank of America's numbers more closely, I have begun to see improvements in several key areas.

First, aside from the fact that it was not an overall good quarter for investment banks, a case can be made that Bank of America actually outperformed expectations. Not only did the company report net income of $2.5 billion, or 19 cents per share, but its Tier One common capital ratio showed a 46-basis-point improvement since the first quarter, exceeding 11%.

What this means is that patient shareholders will be rewarded much sooner rather than later. These improvements can help spur stock buybacks as well as the company's ability to issue dividends. On the downside, its loan performance was a bit weak, showing a decline of 1% due to slowness in its real credit card and real estate segments.

While it clearly has some challenges in some of its core business areas, these are consistent across the entire financial sector, affecting other names including Citigroup (C) and, to a lesser extent, Wells Fargo (WFC).

However, if there was one major concern for investors, it's that Bank of America deposits and loans have been shrinking and the bank is likely losing customers to regional names including SunTrust (STI) and PNC (PNC).

As concerning as this may be, this was offset by the bank's continued improvements in other segments including its Consumer & Business Banking division, which posted net income of $1.2 billion.

Stock quotes in this article: BAC, C, JPM, WFC, STI, PNC 

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