Why Bank Of America (BAC) Stock Is Down On Monday Morning

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Bank of America (BAC) are lower by -1.17% to $15.26 Monday morning after the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority announced it has fined the company's Merrill Lynch unit $8 million for not waiving mutual fund sales charges for charities and retirement accounts, Reuters reports.

FINRA also ordered Merrill Lynch to pay $24.4 million in restitution to customers affected by the mutual fund charges, in addition to the $64.8 million the firm already repaid to investors.

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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates BANK OF AMERICA CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of B. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate BANK OF AMERICA CORP (BAC) a BUY. This is driven by a few notable strengths, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its reasonable valuation levels, expanding profit margins, notable return on equity and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The gross profit margin for BANK OF AMERICA CORP is currently very high, coming in at 84.82%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Regardless of the strong results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of -1.08% is in-line with the industry average.
  • BANK OF AMERICA CORP has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, BANK OF AMERICA CORP increased its bottom line by earning $0.91 versus $0.25 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($0.93 versus $0.91).
  • BAC, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 3.0%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 4.6%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Commercial Banks industry and the overall market on the basis of return on equity, BANK OF AMERICA CORP underperformed against that of the industry average and is significantly less than that of the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: BAC Ratings Report
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