Balanced Growth at Bank of America

Earnings rise from last year on solid credit card results.
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Second-quarter profit at

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

rose 12% from a year ago mainly due to gains in credit card income and falling expenses.

In the quarter, the nation's second-largest bank earned $4.3 billion, or $1.06 a share, up from $3.85 billion, or 93 cents a share, a year ago. The latest quarter included a $121 million pretax restructuring charge that reduced earnings by 2 cents a share.

Total revenue was $14.2 billion, up 7% from a year ago.

Earnings beat the Thomson Financial consensus estimate of $1.01 a share. Revenue was largely in line with analyst estimates of $14 billion.

BofA's quarter sparkled in comparison to the lackluster results announced Monday by rival

Citigroup

(C) - Get Report

, the nation's largest financial services firm. Second-quarter profits at Citigroup came in well below analyst expectations and revenue also fell short of expectations.

"Our ability to achieve profitable growth in the midst of a challenging interest-rate environment demonstrates the value and resilience of our balanced business mix,'' said BofA Chairman and CEO Kenneth Lewis, in a prepared statement.

Revenue in the bank's consumer and small banking group, its largest division, rose 4% to $7 billion. But revenue from its capital markets and investment banking group fell 19% to $2.1 billion, stemming mainly from weakness in trading-related revenue.

Net interest income, profits generated by the bank's big lending and deposit operation, rose a mere 1% to $7.84 billion.

Noninterest income rose 16% to $6.37 billion, due to gains in the bank's credit card business and gains on investments.

A few weeks ago, BofA announced it was buying

MBNA

(KRB)

, the nation's largest independent card company.