Why Bank of America (BAC) Stock Continues To Surge Today

NEW YORK (TheStreet) --  Shares of Bank of America (BAC) are rising higher by 3.41% to $16.05 on very heavy volume in mid-afternoon trading on Thursday.

The stock is continuing an advance it began this morning after the company announced it reached a settlement with the Justice Department regarding investigations into the sale of mortgage backed securities made before the 2008 financial crisis.

So far, 103.35 million shares of Bank of America exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 63.40 million shares. 
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Bank of America reached an agreement with the DOJ and other federal agencies in order to settle the litigations, the company agreed to pay $9.65 billion in cash and $7 billion in consumer relief.

The $16.5 billion settlement is primarily related to the sale of securities made by Merrill Lynch and Countrywide Financial before Bank of America's purchase of the two firms. 

The company said it expects the settlement to reduce its 2014 third quarter pre-tax earnings by $5.3 billion, and negatively impact earnings per share by approximately 43 cents.

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 some important positives, 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 expanding profit margins and notable return on equity. 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 86.47%. 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 9.28% trails the industry average.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 11.9%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 5.1%. 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.
  • BANK OF AMERICA CORP's earnings per share declined by 40.6% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. We feel it is likely to report a decline in earnings 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. For the next year, the market is expecting a contraction of 12.1% in earnings ($0.80 versus $0.91).
  • Net operating cash flow has significantly decreased to $4,778.00 million or 89.64% when compared to the same quarter last year. Despite a decrease in cash flow BANK OF AMERICA CORP is still fairing well by exceeding its industry average cash flow growth rate of -103.82%.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: BAC Ratings Report

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