Bank of America beats expectations as quarterly profits soar 32%

Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
REUTERS / Bobby Yip

Bank of America Merrill Lynch reported third-quarter earnings Monday, beating expectations with adjusted earnings per share of $0.66, a 43% increase from last year.

Analysts had expected the bank to report adjusted earnings per share of $0.62.

The bank also reported profits of $7.2 billion – a 32% increase over last year.

The positive results were driven by strong operating leverage, asset quality, and tailwinds from tax reform, the bank said.

Here are the rest of the key numbers:

  • Revenue: $22.8 billion, beating expectations.
  • Net income: $7.2 billion, up 32% from 2017.
  • Consumer banking: Profits rose 49% to $3.1 billion
  • Global markets: Profits increased 21% to $912 million, but revenues dropped slightly to $3.8 billion, as expected. FICC trading was down 5% to $2.1 billion in revenue; equities trading was up 3% to $1 billion.
  • Investment banking: Struggles continue in the division, with fees dropping 18% to $1.2 billion, driven by declines in advisory and leveraged finance.
  • Wealth management: Profits up 31% to $1 billion. Record client balances of $2.8 trillion.

“Responsible growth, backed by a solid U.S. economy and a healthy U.S. consumer, combined to deliver the highest quarterly pre-tax earnings in our company’s history. This marks the 15th consecutive quarter of positive operating leverage, driven by continued growth in deposits, client balances in wealth management, solid loan growth, and disciplined expense management,” CEO Brian Moynihan said in an earnings statement.