Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) on Tuesday reported fourth-quarter profit that exceeded analysts’ expectations as the firm released some of the cash it had set aside for loan losses.
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The bank said profit fell 28% to $5.47 billion, or 59 cents a share, compared with the 55 cent estimate of analysts. Revenue fell 10% to $20.2 billion, missing the estimate by about $500 million.
Bank of America shares dipped 27 cents in early trading Tuesday to $32.74.
The bank said it released $828 million in reserves, resulting in a $53 million provision for credit losses in the final quarter of 2020. The firm had booked $11.3 billion worth of provisions in the previous three quarters.
“In the fourth quarter, we continued to see signs of a recovery, led by increased consumer spending, stabilizing loan demand by our commercial customers, and strong markets and investing activity,” CEO Brian Moynihan said in the release.
“The latest stimulus package, continued progress on vaccines, and our talented teammates — who performed well helping their customers through this crisis — position us well as the recovery continues.”
Some of the revenue shortfall was from missed expectations in Bank of America’s trading division.
The firm posted $1.74 billion in fixed-income revenue, compared with the $2.11 billion estimate of analysts, on weaker performance in macro products and mortgages.
Earlier Tuesday, Bank of America said that it planned to repurchase $2.9 billion in shares in the first quarter, plus about $300 million in shares to offset stock given to employees. It also said it would maintain its 18 cent quarterly dividend.
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