Updated from 9:08 a.m. EDTBank of America ( BAC), one of the nation's big three banks, on Wednesday reported strong second-quarter earnings, with profits rising a better-than-expected 41% over a year ago. The Charlotte, N.C.-based bank, which recently completed its acquisition of FleetBoston Financial, profited from continued strength in its consumer lending business and strong gains in investment banking. The bank also said it is beginning the process of converting Fleet branches to the BofA brand name. In the quarter, BofA earned $3.85 billion, or $1.86 a share, compared with $2.74 billion, or $1.80 a share, a year earlier. The Thomson First Call estimate had the bank earning $1.74 in the quarter. At midday, shares of BofA were down 15 cents, or 0.2%, to $84.98. Several smaller banks are also scheduled to post earnings today, including Puerto Rico-based Doral Financial ( DRL), an important mortgage lender in the U.S. commonwealth. Citigroup ( C) reports Thursday, and J.P. Morgan ( JPM) reports next Wednesday. Bank of America said total revenue in the period was $13.2 billion, up 34% and a shade under the consensus estimate of $13.3 billion. The bank's results included a pretax charge of $125 million, or 4 cents a share, related to the merger with Fleet. In the quarter, BofA estimated cost savings of $206 million from the merger. "I am particularly pleased that even as we successfully execute on the merger with FleetBoston Financial, our associates continue to grow customer relationships and gain market share in key products throughout our franchise," said Kenneth Lewis, the bank's president and chief executive, in a press release. In a conference call with analysts, BofA Chief Financial Officer Mark Oken says the bank is seeing signs of a revival in commercial borrowing, particularly by midsized businesses. A slow rebound in commercial lending has been one of the more puzzling features of the economic recovery.