NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Bank of America (BAC - Get Report) management argues the company can earn at $40 billion or more annually following cost cuts and a "more benign" interest rate environment--a view that is not shared by the market, according to an analyst report published Monday.
The $40 billion number, stated by CFO Bruce Thompson at a conference Friday would represent Bank of America's profit before taking into account earnings it sets aside to cover bad debt.
Still, Atlantic Equities analyst Richard Staite contends "the market is skeptical: the current level is only $25 billion and the track record is not good."
Indeed, Thompson's statements on Friday leave plenty of room for skepticism. What he said exactly, in response to a question, was, "I think the previous guidance that was given, if I recall, was in the 40s, not in the 50s. And what I would say at this point is I think if you look at, for us, what a normalized number is -- and everyone comes up with slightly different views of normalized -- that you get to at this point, this year, on a run rate basis, something in the mid-20s. And if you do the work and look at what we've suggested with respect to
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