Bank of America Income On The Rise
Bank of America reported that first quarter net income rose to $4.70 billion, or $1.14 per share (diluted), from $2.68 billion, or $0.91 per share, a year ago.
Under purchase accounting rules, results reported for the first quarter of 2004 do not include the impact of FleetBoston Financial Corporation, which was acquired on April 1, 2004. Return on common equity in the first quarter was 19.30 percent.
In addition to the impact of Fleet, net income increased due to strong results throughout the company’s businesses, lower credit costs, increasing merger-related efficiencies and gains from the sales of securities.
The integration of Fleet remained on schedule as several systems conversions were completed during the quarter and additional conversions were started. Direct cost savings achieved in the quarter totaled $437 million.
First quarter earnings included merger and restructuring charges of $112 million pre-tax, which reduced net income by 2 cents per share.
“I am very pleased with the continued momentum of our businesses,” said Kenneth D. Lewis, chairman and chief executive officer. “The continuing successful integration of the Fleet franchise has bolstered our ability to achieve future growth and value creation for our shareholders. In particular, we saw the strongest commercial loan growth in many quarters across our company and deposit growth continues to be robust.
“This quarter shows how our balanced business mix is paying off,” Lewis continued. “The power of our franchise is evident in our ability this quarter to deliver an efficiency ratio below our target of 50 percent.”
Business Highlights (Unless otherwise stated, the following highlights compare results in the first quarter of 2005 to the fourth quarter of 2004. Both periods include the impact of the Fleet merger.)
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