Bank of America Corp (BAC) Earnings Preview: Boom And Bust

Bank of America Corp (BAC) Earnings Preview: Boom And Bust
By Bank of America (Own work by the original uploader) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) is set to release its earnings numbers for the first quarter of 2014 on Wednesday morning before the market opens in New York. The firm’s results are expected to mirror those of the other major banks that have already reported earnings. The firm’s revenue is likely in decline, and it may need to cut costs, and staff, in order to ensure the confidence of investors.

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According to a consensus estimate from 11 analysts following the company, earnings should come in at 30 cents per share for the first quarter of 2014. Revenue in the same period is expected to be reported at $22.1 billion according to the same survey, which was performed by Businessweek. In the same three months of 2013 Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) earned 20 cents per share on revenue totaling $23.7 billion.

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Bank of America heads for cost cutting

As with so many earnings reports from the financial sector in recent years, tomorrow morning’s report should be accompanied by the attendant promise of cost cuts. The major banks have proved themselves competent at cutting jobs and costs in recent years. That’s one of the major ways in which they’ve managed to keep profits growing on flat or worse revenue.

Unless analysts are seriously wrong about the Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) first quarter, the company will need to make promises about the rest of the year in tomorrow’s report. Declining revenue has been a problem across the financial sector, and there are few ways to deal with it as interest rates stay low and fixed income trading units see profits evaporate.

The financial crisis is almost over for Bank of America

One of the major issues for Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) in recent years has been legal issues relating to the financial crisis, and to its Countrywide and Merril Lynch businesses in particular. In the opening months of 2014 it appears that the bank may be over most of those problems and that the financial crisis might be finally over for the company.

Last month the bank agreed to a deal that will see it pay $9.3 billion to settle the case which alleged that it sold bad mortgages to Fannie Mae / Federal National Mortgage Assctn Fnni Me (OTCBB:FNMA) and Freddie Mac / Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp (OTCBB:FMCC) in the years leading up to the 2008 financial crisis. Unless the Department of Justice or the SEC have more surprises up their sleeves, Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) is out from under the majority of the financial crisis’ complications, and should be able to go back to normal business.

Shares in the Charlotte, NC headquartered bank have been doing better than most financials in the opening months of 2014. The firm’s stock has gained around 2.5% since the start of the year, and is up by more than 33% in the last twelve months. On Tuesday afternoon, the firm’s shares traded flat.

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