However, as with JPMorgan and Wells Fargo ( WFC), BofA also saw some net interest margin (NIM) erosion -- a decline of 14 basis points year over year. But as with the NII, there was also a slight uptick on a sequential basis, which contributed to modest overall increase in the bank's average earnings assets. But the "glass-half-full" perspective only goes so far. There were also some missed opportunities -- although I'd like to think of them as areas of improvement. For instance, income from fees arrived soft. This is typically one of Bank of America's stronger revenue drivers. Likewise, the bank disappointed in the areas of investment banking and trading.
To that end, management has been saying all of the right things, assuring investors that recent restructuring efforts will place BofA on a growth path for the next several years. These include a previously reported plan to reduce 10% of its workforce. What this means is that patient shareholders will be rewarded much sooner rather than later because these improvements can help spur stock buybacks as well as the company's ability to issue dividends.