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Bank of America: Cost-Cutting Loser (Update 1)

When asked for clarification on the company's plan to reduce LAS expenses from $3.1 billion by $1 billion by the fourth quarter of 2013, Thompson said "you should generally expect it to come out throughout the year. It is not something you're going to have to wait for the fourth quarter to see."

Hawken has a neutral rating on Bank of America, with a 12-month price target of $11.50, estimating the company will earn 95 cents in 2013, with EPS climbing to $1.20 in 2014.

Interested in more on Bank of America? See TheStreet Ratings' report card for this stock.


Citigroup reported fourth-quarter earnings of $1.2 billion, or 38 cents a share. Excluding credit valuation and debit valuation adjustments, the company earned $2.2 billion or 69 cents a share, missing the consensus estimate of 96 cents.

Citigroup's earnings were reduced by charges related to its restructuring announced in the fourth quarter, as well as a declining release of loan loss reserves.

Net income for all of 2012 totaled $7.5 billion, or $2.44 a share, declining from $11.1 billion, or $3.63 a share, in 2011. The company said that excluding credit and debit valuation adjustments, losses on minority investments and costs from the company's fourth-quarter repositioning, 2012 operating earnings totaled $11.9 billion, increasing from $11.1 billion in 2011.

During the company's earnings conference call, Citigroup CEO Michael Corbat -- who replaced Vikram Pandit in the top spot after Pandit was shown the door in October -- was asked by CLSA Securities analyst Mike Mayo the following question: "If in five years from now you were to look back at your performance, what would you want to see to show that you were successful?" Corbat replied that "we've got to get to a point where we stop destroying our shareholders' capital. That would certainly be at the top of the list. That we run a smart and efficient business that's good at its allocation of its resources around its customer and client segments, that it's continued to have the ability to lead and accompany those clients around the world, that it served a social purpose."

Bloomberg later reported in an investor alert that Mayo had upgraded Citigroup to a "Buy" rating from "Outperform," with a $50 price target.
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