Bank of America beats on the bottom line, misses on the top

Fourth-quarter bank earnings kicked off Friday with Bank of America, which reported earnings per share of $0.40 on revenue of $20.22 billion.

Analysts were expecting adjusted earnings per share of $0.38 on revenue of $20.76 billion, according to Bloomberg. It was initially unclear whether the bank’s reported earnings were adjusted.

“With strong leadership positions in our businesses against a backdrop of rising interest rates, we are well-positioned to continue to grow and deliver for our shareholders in 2017,” CEO Brian Moynihan said in a statement.

The firm said it would increase its stock-buyback program for the first half of 2017 to $4.3 billion from $2.5 billion.

Total trading revenue missed expectations, coming in at $2.91 billion ($3.06 billion expected), while banking revenue was $1.22 billion ($1.14 billion expected).

Fixed income, currency, and commodities trading revenue came in at $1.96 billion for the quarter ($2.12 billion expected), while equities trading revenue was $948 million ($943.7 million expected).

The firm said FICC revenue was up 12% from the year-ago quarter because of improved customer flow across all regions and most products, “despite challenging markets for rates and municipals in the latter half of the quarter.”

Equities revenue was up 7% from the prior-year quarter because of improved derivatives performance, reflecting more market activity after the US election, the firm said.

Corporate investment-banking fees were down 4% from the year-ago quarter because of lower advisory and equity issuance fees but partly offset by higher debt-issuance fees, according to the firm.

In the same quarter last year, Bank of America beat expectations, reporting $0.28 a share.

In the third quarter, Bank of America beat on the top and bottom lines, reporting earnings per share of $0.41 on revenue of $21.64 billion.

JPMorgan and Wells Fargo will report fourth-quarter earnings at about 8 a.m. Friday.

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