April 16 - Bank of America posted a surprise quarterly loss, sending shares lower, as the bank sets aside a bigger-than-expected $6 billion stockpile to cover legal expenses. Conway G. Gittens reports.
Bank of America continues to struggle with legal expenses tied to the crises of the past. America's second largest bank posted a quarterly loss as it sets aside another $6 billion to cover legal expenses. That's heftier than the bank previously said it would sock away for legal settlements. BofA lost five cents a share compared to expectations for a gain of five cents. Revenues, though better than expected, were down from a year ago. A bit of a disappointment since last year was BofA's best year - financially - since before the financial crisis. Investors are pushing shares lower, taking back some of the five percent gain since the start of the year. But there are some relative bright spots. Jeffries points out "total core trading declined 11 percent year-over-year...which is slightly better than peers (Citi down 13% and JPMorgan down 17%)", adding "higher equity and debt gains offsetting lower than expected net income and mortgage banking income." Like other banks that have reported, the mortgage side of the business at BofA is down as fewer homeowners refinanced mortgages and cold weather put the chill on home buying.