Bank of America said Friday it earned $2.83 billion during the first quarter as strong trading revenue helped the bank offset continuing losses on consumer loans.
The bank's results surpassed expectations and provided further evidence that the banking industry and the economy are recovering. JPMorgan Chase & Co. on Wednesday also reported improvements in its consumer loan business, but said continuing credit losses were offset by income from trading.
Bank of America bank set aside $9.8 billion to covered soured loans during the quarter, down 3 percent from $10.1 billion the previous quarter. A year earlier, it had set aside $13.4 billion.
The bank said losses in most consumer loans portfolios fell during the quarter, but the improvement came in its credit card business while losses widened in its home mortgage business.
Bank of America reported that its global banking and markets business, which includes the Merrill Lynch investment banking operations, rose $709 million to $3.2 billion.
Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America earned 28 cents per share after paying preferred dividends. A year ago, it earned $2.81 billion, or 44 cents per share. Analysts expected profit of 9 cents per share in the most recent quarter, according to Thomson Reuters.
Bank of America's stock was up 2 percent at $19.86 in pre-opening trading, a level it hasn't reached since November 2008.
The bank was among the hardest hit during the credit crisis, and received $45 billion in bailout funds from the federal government. Like nearly all banks in the country, the company faced waves of loan defaults as more customers fell behind and investments soured.
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