Bank of America Merrill Lynch just announced first-quarter earnings results, beating analyst estimates with earnings per share of $US0.62. Analysts had been expecting the bank to report adjusted earnings per share of $US0.59.
The beat was driven by higher interest rates and lower taxes, while the bank’s equities trading unit had a record quarter, echoing a similar performance in that unit at JPMorgan and Citigroup.
Here are the key numbers:
- Revenue: $US23.1 billion, marginally ahead of analyst expectations of $US23 billion. Net interest income increased by $US550 million, driven by higher rates.
- Adjusted net income: $US6.9 billion, a record high, and well ahead of analyst expectations.
- Consumer banking: Net income increased to $US2.7 billion, up 42%, driven by higher interest rates.
- Global wealth management: Net income increased 34% to $US1 billion, again driven by higher rates.
- Global banking: Net income increased 17% to $US2 billion, despite a slight decline in revenues, thanks to a lower tax bill.
- Global markets: Net income increased 12% to $US1.5 billion. Sales and trading revenues were up 6% to $US4.1 billion, driven by a huge gain in equities, where revenues increased 38% to a record $US1.5 billion. That performance echoes similar gains in the equities businesses at JPMorgan and Citigroup.
- Deposits: Average deposit balances increased to $US1.3 trillion, a record high.
“Strong client activity, coupled with a growing global economy and solid U.S. consumer activity, led to record quarterly earnings,” CEO Brian Moynihan said in a statement. “We grew loans in our business segments by $US45 billion and increased deposits by $US41 billion.”
JPMorgan and Citigroup announced first-quarter earnings on Friday, with both beating solidly. The two banks also posted gains in markets revenue, with JPMorgan’s markets revenue up 7% on an underlying basis and Citigroup’s total markets and securities revenue up 3%.
Those gains were driven by equities revenue, with JPMorgan posting record equities revenue of $US2 billion and Citigroup posting a 38% gain in equities revenue to $US1.1 billion. Fixed income revenues, in contrast, were flat at JPMorgan, and down at Citigroup.