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Bank of America: Earnings Loser (Update 1)

Credit quality continued to improve, with first-quarter net loan charge-offs of $2.517 billion, declining from $3.104 billion the previous quarter and $4.056 billion in the first quarter of 2012. The first-quarter annualized ratio of net charge-offs -- excluding impaired purchased loans, which had previously been written down -- to average loans was a decent 1.14%, improving from 1.40% the previous quarter and 1.80% a year earlier.

KBW analyst Christopher Mutascio rates Bank of America a "buy," with a price target of $13.50, and said in a note to clients that "total expenses increased to $18.15 billion versus our expectations for a decline to $17.10 billion. Driving the increase in expenses were seasonally higher personnel expenses of $9.9 billion versus $8.3 billion last quarter, partially offsetting this was a decline in other expenses to $3.98 billion from $5.37 billion last quarter."

"We expect that the noise in expenses this quarter will lead shares weaker on the day as investors look to see meaningful expense reductions in-line with prior company guidance," Mutascio wrote. He added, "The company is still on track to deliver our 4Q13 run-rate of below $16 billion in expenses."

BAC Chart BAC data by YCharts

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

-- Written by Philip van Doorn in Jupiter, Fla.

>Contact by Email.

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Philip W. van Doorn is a member of TheStreet's banking and finance team, commenting on industry and regulatory trends. He previously served as the senior analyst for TheStreet.com Ratings, responsible for assigning financial strength ratings to banks and savings and loan institutions. Mr. van Doorn previously served as a loan operations officer at Riverside National Bank in Fort Pierce, Fla., and as a credit analyst at the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, where he monitored banks in New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico. Mr. van Doorn has additional experience in the mutual fund and computer software industries. He holds a bachelor of science in business administration from Long Island University.
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