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Profit Plunges at BofA

The bank misses Wall Street estimates by 24 cents.

Bank of America (BAC) - Get Bank of America Corp Report posted a 32% drop in third-quarter earnings, becoming the latest big bank to register a big hit tied to the summer's credit crunch.

The Charlotte, N.C., bank made $3.7 billion, or 82 cents a share, down from the year-ago $5.42 billion, or $1.18 a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were looking for a profit of $1.06 a share.

Revenue net of interest expense on a fully taxable-equivalent basis declined 12% to $16.30 billion from $18.49 billion in the third quarter 2006.

Lower net income resulted from a $1.33 billion decline in earnings in Global Corporate and Investment Banking given the significant disruption in the financial markets during the quarter. Provision expense increased $865 million due to consumer and small business credit costs rising from post bankruptcy reform lows, growth and seasoning in various portfolios and stress in several portfolios driven by the weakened U.S. housing market.

"While the significant dislocations in the capital markets have hurt most participants, we are still very disappointed in our third quarter performance," said Kenneth D. Lewis, chairman and chief executive officer. "However, the majority of our businesses experienced solid revenue growth as sales momentum continued, demonstrating the value of our diverse business mix. We continued to invest in our businesses for the long term and to introduce innovative products and services to differentiate Bank of America in the marketplace. While we cannot predict the near term, I am confident that such innovation and execution combined with the advantages of scale and reach are the formula for future success."

Unprecedented market disruptions impacted trading results. As a result, Global Corporate and Investment Banking net income fell 93 percent to $100 million from $1.43 billion a year earlier.

Capital Markets and Advisory Services, a business within GCIB which includes Liquid Products, Credit Products, Structured Products and Equities, posted a $717 million net loss compared with net income of $298 million a year earlier. Included in the net loss for the quarter were $247 million in markdowns, net of fees, on leveraged and non- leveraged loans and commitments.

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The news comes on the heels of a 57% drop in third-quarter net at


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and a 2% rise in profit at


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Bank of America shares fell $1.72 to $48.31.