Bank of America Posts Strong Q4, Despite Drop In Originations

Despite a significant decline in mortgage origination volume, Bank of America on Wednesday reported net income of $3.4 billion, or $0.29 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter, compared to $732 million, or $0.03 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2012.

Revenue rose 15% from the fourth quarter of 2012 to $21.7 billion.

For the year ended Dec. 31, 2013, net income increased to $11.4 billion, or $0.90 per diluted share, from $4.2 billion, or $0.25 per diluted share, in 2012. Revenue, net of interest expense, on an FTE basis rose 7% to $89.8 billion.

‘We enter this year with one of the strongest balance sheets in our company's history,’ says Bruce Thompson, chief financial officer for Bank of America, in a release. ‘Capital and liquidity are at record levels, credit losses are at historic lows, our cost savings initiatives are on track and yielding significant savings, and our businesses are seeing good momentum.’

Still, the bank's mortgage business has shrunk considerably from a year ago – due mainly to rising interest rates, sluggish jobs growth and government regulations that have had the effect of constricting credit. The bank reports that it funded $13.5 billion in residential home loans and home equity loans during the fourth quarter, helping nearly 50,000 homeowners either refinance an existing mortgage or purchase a home. This included nearly 4,200 first-time home buyer mortgages and more than 17,000 mortgages to low- and moderate-income borrowers. About 68% of originations were refinances while 32% were for home purchases.

Despite shrinking originations, Bank of America saw the number of delinquent home loans it services drop to 325,000 loans from 398,000 loans at the end of the third quarter – a decrease of about 18%. What's more, the bank's delinquencies fell about 58% compared to the fourth quarter of 2012, when they totaled 773,000.

As a result of the decline in originations, Bank of America's Consumer Real Estate Services division reported a net loss of $1.1 billion for the fourth quarter, compared to a net loss of $3.7 billion for the fourth quarter of 2012, which is when the bank announced settlements with Fannie Mae to resolve faulty-mortgage claims.

To access the full fourth quarter earnings report, click here.


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