NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Bank of America Corp. (BAC - Get Report) announced on Thursday that it reached a comprehensive settlement with the Justice Department and state attorneys general to resolve an investigation into the quality of the mortgage backed securities its sold prior to the 2008 financial crisis.
Shares of Bank of America are up 1.68% to $15.78 at the start of trading on Thursday.
Bank of America came to terms with the DOJ "certain federal agencies and six states" to settle the litigations and investigations, agreeing to pay $9.65 billion in cash and provide $7 billion in consumer relief.
The investigations relate primarily to the mortgage backed securities sold by Merrill Lynch and Countrywide Financial, prior to Bank of America's acquisition of the firms, the company said.
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This $16.5 billion payout is the largest settlement in a series of cases against banks resulting from investigations into a variety of misconducts, including violating U.S. sanctions and dishonesty regarding the quality of mortgage securities, Reuters reports.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates BANK OF AMERICA CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate BANK OF AMERICA CORP (BAC) a BUY. This is driven by some important positives, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- The gross profit margin for BANK OF AMERICA CORP is currently very high, coming in at 86.47%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 9.28% trails the industry average.
- Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 11.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 5.1%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
- The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Commercial Banks industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, BANK OF AMERICA CORP underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.
- BANK OF AMERICA CORP's earnings per share declined by 40.6% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, BANK OF AMERICA CORP increased its bottom line by earning $0.91 versus $0.25 in the prior year. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 12.1% in earnings ($0.80 versus $0.91).
- Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $4,778.00 million or 89.64% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow BANK OF AMERICA CORP is still fairing well by exceeding its industry average cash flow growth rate of -103.82%.
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: BAC Ratings Report
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