Updated from 1:52 p.m. EDT
Three of the nation's largest banking companies reported gains in their second-quarter earnings Monday, with two of them --
Bank of New York
-- exceeding Wall Street's estimates by a penny.
Bank of America
, the nation's largest banking company, met analysts' expectations.
Bank of America reported that its net income rose 7% on a per-share basis, to $2.06 billion, or $1.23 a diluted share, from $1.92 billion, or $1.07 a share, in the year-earlier quarter.
Although Bank of America met the consensus earnings estimate of analysts surveyed by
First Call/Thomson Financial
, revenues for the quarter were down 5% from $1.33 per share the previous period. Much of the company's growth was in its regional banking sector, which recorded a 19% increase in consumer loans.
"The main issues in the short term had been on the wholesale side where they had weaker-than-expected trading revenue and negative operating leverage as they continue to build up their securities business," said Judah Kraushaar, an analyst at
, in a report issued after the bank's earnings were announced.
"We don't believe this quarter is enough for investors to feel more positive on this stock," said Kraushaar, who maintains a neutral/buy rating on the stock.
Officials at the Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America said a slowdown in capital markets activity and depreciation in venture capital investments from lower stock prices offset strong growth in the company's consumer banking sector during the second quarter.
Moreover, the company's $1.23-per-share earnings were slightly lower than initial expectations of $1.27 a share at the beginning of the review process, according to industry analysts.
analysts said they had expected a "mildly positive reaction" among investors to the earnings announcement. The firm, which maintains a buy rating on the stock, has acted in an investment banking capacity for the Bank of America.
"Despite a slower market, we did gain market share in a number of key investment banking businesses," said Hugh L. McColl Jr., Bank of America's chairman and chief executive, in a statement issued after the earnings announcement. McColl said he expects the company to report continued growth in upcoming quarters.
Bank of America has about 4,500 retail branches in 21 states and operates in almost 40 countries.
After climbing initially, Bank of America's shares slipped back to trade down 1/4, or 1%, at 47 1/4 in midday trading Monday. Bank of America finished regular trading down 3/8, or 0.8%, at 47 1/8. The stock is trading just a few points above its 52-week low of 42 5/16 that it hit in early March.
FleetBoston Financial, the progeny of
, reported that its earnings rose 15% on an earnings-per-share basis to 83 cents a diluted share, or $772 million, compared with earnings of $700 million, or 72 cents a share, in the year-earlier quarter. The Boston-based company had been expected to post earnings of 82 cents a share in the latest quarter, according to analysts surveyed by First Call/Thomson Financial.
Earnings from the commercial and retail banking sectors were $328 million in the second quarter, up nearly one-third from the same quarter a year ago. Officials attributed the jump to strong deposit business, increased loan volume, and cost savings from merging integration.
"Exceptional results were reported across the breadth of our business franchise this quarter," said Eugene M. McQuade, FleetBoston Financial's vice-chairman and chief financial officer, in a statement released Monday.
Although the company reporting better-than-expected earnings and strong sector-wide growth, shares of FleetBoston fell Monday. FleetBoston Financial finished down 2 1/4, or 6%, at 35 1/2.
"It's hard to fathom," said Nancy Bush, analyst at
. "The selling just seems quite indiscriminate."
Bush said the bank was prudent in its projections, and expects it to show continued growth in the third quarter. She gives the stock a strong buy rating with a target price of $50. Prudential does not underwrite the stock.
FleetBoston is the country's eighth-largest bank, operating about 1,250 branches in the Northeast.
Bank of New York, which has about 350 branches in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, reported that its earnings rose 10%, to $356 million, or 48 cents a diluted share, from $323 million, or 42 cents a share, in the year-earlier quarter. Wall Street had been expecting earnings of 47 cents a share, according to a First Call/Thomson Financial survey of analysts.
Bank of New York said that its second-quarter profits were largely driven by money management and securities holding fees. The bank showed particularly strong growth in its securities processing business and in foreign exchange revenues, with the latter up 50% from the same period a year ago.
Bank of New York finished up 1 7/16, or 3%, at 48 3/8. The stock hit a 52-week high of 49 15/16 on July 5. That's up considerably from a few months earlier, when the stock price slid to a 52-week low of 29 3/4.