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Bank of America: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly


Bottom-line: Not a great quarter punctuated by a lot of noise.


The Good:

  • Bank of America (BAC) made numbers.
  • Small business lending increased, the first time I have seen this at any bank in a while.
  • Not sure it is good, but interesting: Home equity lines of credit actually increased???
  • Like all banks, BAC seems to be controlling expenses, which means firing people.
  • NPA's remained flat.
  • Tax rate was higher than expected (not sure why this is).

The Bad:

  • Margin was 3 bps lighter than consensus.
  • A lot of noise, includes: MBNA transaction and $720 million gain on sale from Brazilian operations, which just happened to offset securities losses to reposition balance sheet and MBNA-related merger charge. Hmmm can anyone say managing earnings?
  • Card fees were weak.

The Ugly:

Revenue trends were mixed:

  • Net income was flat versus 2Q as strong consumer and commercial loan growth were offset by NIM pressure (yet another bank with high mortgage concentration showing this trend).
    • Deposit costs increasing faster than loan yields.
    • A modest decline in deposit balances.
    • A shift in deposit towards cds.

Charge-offs and delinquencies ticked up, which caused the card business to underperform expectations.

Bottom-line: Not a great quarter punctuated by a lot of noise. BAC is holding up better than the regionals, but had a weaker showing than both Citigroup (C) and JP Morgan (JPM). Some trends were worrisome (see Ugly).

Steve Zausner also contributed to this article.

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Position in BAC, C, JPM

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