Jan 15, 2020 (Baystreet.ca via COMTEX) -- Bank of America /zigman2/quotes/200894270/composite BAC -4.90% on Wednesday posted profit that exceeded analysts' expectations on a rebound in trading revenue and as the company repurchased shares.
The bank said fourth-quarter profit was $7 billion, a 4% decline from a year earlier. But earnings per share were 74 cents, an unexpected 6% increase, helped by a reduction in outstanding shares. That exceeded the 68 cent estimate of analysts. Revenue fell 1% to $22.5 billion, edging out the $22.35 billion estimate.
CEO Brian Moynihan said "In a steadily growing economy marked by solid client activity, our teammates produced another strong quarter and year, allowing us to increase investments in our customers, communities, and employees.
"We also delivered for shareholders in 2019 by returning a record $34 billion in excess capital through dividends and share repurchases."
The impact of lower interest rates was felt widely at BAC, impacting its core lending and banking operations. Companywide net interest income fell 3% to $12.3 billion, and the bank's net interest margin fell 17 basis points to 2.35%, just under analysts' 2.36% estimate.
At the lender's giant retail bank, profit dropped 10% to $3.1 billion on the impact of lower rates. The company also cited interest rates as a reason for lower revenue in its global banking and wealth management divisions.
Shares retreated 68 cents, or 1.9%, to $34.64