Bank of America Profits up in Q1, but Mortgage Income falls and EPS come up short

NEW YORK (TIP): Bank of America BAC -3.66% recorded net income of $2.6 billion in the first quarter, significantly above last year’s $653 million, on $23.7 billion in revenue. Earnings of 20 cents per share were short of estimates. Shares dropped 3.3% on the miss in pre-market trading, to $11.88. The bank reported an increase in deposits and a 57% increase in mortgage originations, though mortgage banking income was down from a year ago. As a result, net income in consumer and business banking declined slightly from 2012.

Chief Executive Brian Moynihan lauded “Solid increases in loan growth to small businesses and middle-market companies, four straight quarters of steady growth in mortgage originations, record earnings in wealth management, and another quarter near the top in investment banking fees,” while CFO Bruce Thompson touted a $1 billion decrease in noninterest expenses year-over-year. BofA lowered its provision for credit losses in the quarter, as did rivals JPMorgan Chase JPM -1.11% and Citigroup C -1.91%, given improvements in the U.S. housing market and a slowly improving outlook for the economy at large. The firm won Federal Reserve approval to repurchase up to $5 billion in stock last month, which marks its first buyback since being propped up by the government during the financial crisis.

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