NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Bank of America ( BAC) reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $1.2 billion, or 16 cents a share, compared with a year-earlier loss of $194 million, or 60 cents.

The current quarter includes a previously announced goodwill impairment charge of $2 billion in the bank's Home Loans and Insurance segment. A company statement said that excluding the goodwill impairment charge, Bank of America earned $756 million, or 4 cents a share.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters were looking for earnings of 14 cents share. Estimates varied widely, however, depending upon what numbers analysts were excluding or including in their models, according to Sandler O'Neill analyst Jeff Harte. In other words, there may be plenty of "noise" that may make it difficult to get an immediate picture of the strength of different businesses at the bank.

"Part of the trouble is whether you include the mortgage goodwill writedown, whether you include the GSE settlement. There's enough moving parts it's going to be tough to say did they meet or miss expectations because everyone's got kind of different expectations. The accounting treatment and the EPS number people are looking for are going to be different," Harte told TheStreet in an interview earlier this week.

-- Written by Dan Freed in New York.
Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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