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Bank of America’s profit falls on lower trading revenue

January 15, 2015, 12:26 PM UTC
Pedestrians walk in front of a Bank of America Corp. branch in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, March 14, 2012. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg
Photograph by David Paul Morris — Getty Images

The downbeat earnings from big banks continued Thursday, as Bank of America (BAC) reported lower fourth-quarter profit and revenue.

The second-largest U.S. bank by assets posted a 14 percent fall in quarterly profit, largely due to lower revenue from fixed-income trading.

Net income attributable to common shareholders fell to $2.74 billion, or 25 cents per share, in the fourth quarter from $3.18 billion, or 29 cents per share, a year earlier.

Analysts on average had estimated earnings of 31 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. It was not immediately clear if the reported figures were comparable.

Separately, Citigroup (C), in the midst of a pullback from consumer banking in a number of international markets, eked out a slim fourth-quarter profit after taking charges of $3.5 billion to settle legal claims and overhaul operations.

The total charges matched the figure foreshadowed by Chief Executive Mike Corbat in December, but the earnings fell short of the average market estimate.

Adjusted net income fell to $346 million, or 6 cents per share, from $2.60 billion, or 82 cents per share, a year earlier, the No. 3 U.S. bank by assets said.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of 9 cents per share, including charges, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

On Wednesday, JPMorgan Chase (JPM), the biggest U.S. bank by assets, reported a 6.6 percent drop in quarterly profit as legal costs exceeded $1 billion in the wake of government probes into alleged wrongdoing and it set aside more to cover bad loans.

The bank said legal expenses rose to about $1.1 billion in the quarter from about $847 million a year earlier. After tax, legal expenses totaled $990 million.

Earlier Thursday, BlackRock (BLK) the world’s largest money manager, reported a 3.3 percent fall in fourth-quarter profit as the company earned less from investment advisory performance fees.

The New York-based company’s net income fell to $813 million, or $4.77 per share, for the three months ended Dec. 31 from $841 million, or $4.86 per share, a year earlier.

—Reuters contributed to this report.