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Bank of America profit tops estimates as lender releases reserves for soured loans

CEO and Chairman of the Bank of America Brian Moynihan speaks during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, Britain, November 2, 2021.

Hannah McKay | Reuters

Bank of America reported first-quarter earnings before the opening bell Monday.

Here are the numbers:

  • Earnings:  80 cents a share vs 75 cents a share Refinitiv estimate.
  • Revenue:  $23.33 billion vs $23.2 billion estimate

Bank of America’s results were helped by better-than-expected credit quality on the part of its borrowers. The bank had $392 million in net chargeoffs in the quarter, less than half of the $848.7 million StreetAccount estimate and a 52% drop from a year earlier.

Bank of America, led by CEO Brian Moynihan, had enjoyed tailwinds as rising interest rates and a rebound in loan growth promised to boost income. But bank stocks got hammered this year amid concerns that higher inflation would help spark a recession, which would lead to higher defaults.

While longer-term rates rose during the quarter, short term rates rose more, and that flat, or in some cases inverted, yield curve spurred concerns about an economic slowdown ahead.  

Bank of America shares have fallen 15% this year before Monday, worse than the 11.6% decline of the KBW Bank Index.

Last week, JPMorgan said profit slumped as it posted losses tied to Russia sanctions and set aside money for future loan losses. Goldman, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup each topped expectations with stronger-than-expected trading results, and Wells Fargo missed on revenue amid a decline in mortgage lending.

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