Bank of America Tops Wall Street View

Bank of America blew past Wall Street expectations for its first-quarter earnings Friday with results driven by better credit quality and strength in its capital markets business.
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Updated with Moynihan comment, information on provision for credit losses.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (

TheStreet

) -

Bank of America

(BAC) - Get Report

Friday blew past Wall Street expectations for its first-quarter earnings with results driven by better credit quality and strength in its capital markets business.

The bank posted a profit of $3.2 billion, or 28 cents per share, on revenue of $32 billion for the three months ended in March. The average estimate of analysts polled by

Thomson Reuters

was fo earnings of 9 cents a share on revenue of $28 billion.

"With each day that passes, the 2010 story appears to be one of continuing credit recovery, and our results reflect a gradually improving economy," said Brian Moynihan, the company's president and CEO. "Our customers -- individuals, companies, and institutional investors -- increasingly see the value of our integrated capabilities. We also are seeing ample indications that those integrated capabilities hold promise for long-term shareholder value."

The latest results compare to earnings of 44 cents a share on revenue of $35.8 billion in the same period a year earlier, and a loss of 60 cents a share on revenue of $25.1 billion in the fourth quarter.

Ahead of this report, Bank of America had reported two consecutive quarterly losses and seen revenue decline for fourth straight quarters.

The company said its provision for credit losses for the quarter totaled $9.8 billion, down from $10.1 billion in the fourth quarter, and $13.4 billion in the same period a year earlier.

Bank of America shares closed Thursday at $19.48, up 8 cents. Earlier in the session, the stock reached a new 52-week high of $19.86. Year-to-date, the shares are now up 29%.

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Written by Michael Baron in New York

.