Bank of America had net income of $340 million, or $0.00 per share, in the third quarter, compared to $6.2 billion, or $0.56 per share, in the year-ago quarter. Analysts had expected BofA to report a loss of $0.07 per share.
The number of financial advisors stood at 17,533 as of Sept. 30, which is down one from the second quarter but up 439 reps from a year ago. These figures include financial advisors in the mass-affluent Merrill Edge platform and others in BofA’s Consumer & Business Banking segment, which totaled 1,457 in Q3’12; 1,383 in Q2’12; and 1,032 in Q3’11.
The average yearly production (or fees and commissions) of Merrill Lynch advisors—excluding those in Consumer & Business Banking—was $910,000 for Q3, down from $921,000 a year ago and from $915,000 in Q2. On a nine-month basis, current annual production of $910,000 is off of the first nine months of 2011, when production averaged $963,000 per advisor.
Asset flows to advisors in the third quarter were $3.83 billion, down from $3.99 billion in the second quarter of 2012 but up sharply from $1.93 billion in the year-ago quarter. For the first nine months of 2012, new assets totaled $15.64 billion vs. $10.19 billion in the same period of 2011.
What Your Peers Are Reading
Total assets held in Merrill Lynch accounts were $1.86 trillion as of Sept. 30. This is up from $1.69 trillion a year ago and $1.8 trillion in the second quarter. The total Global Wealth unit had assets under management of $2.26 trillion.
Morgan Stanley’s third-quarter results came in ahead of estimates and its advisors—though down 832 from last year—continue to boost assets and sales.
The company, led by James Gorman, said its third-quarter loss from continuing operations was $1 billion, or $0.55 per diluted share, compared with income of $2.2 billion, or $1.14 per diluted share, for the same period a year ago.
The number of financial advisors stood at 16,829—down 1% from 16,934 in the second quarter and 5% from 17,661 a year ago. Average yearly fees and commissions (or production) per rep, though, rose 2% from the second quarter and 9% from a year ago to $790,000 for the third quarter, below Merrill Lynch’s average by $120,000.
When it comes to asset flows, Morgan Stanley reps had $7.5 billion of positive movement (up 83% from the second quarter and down 23% for a year ago) vs. $3.83 billion for Merrill Lynch in Q3. Total client assets for Morgan Stanley were $1.77 trillion—close to the $1.86 trillion in AUM of Merrill’s advisors but below the $2.3 trillion of Bank of America’s wealth unit.
Revenues for the Morgan Stanley’s Global Wealth Management Group were $3.34 billion, a 1% rise from $3.23 billion in the second quarter and a 3% increase from $3.19 in the second quarter of 2012.
The division had pretax income from continuing operations of $239 million compared with $356 million in the third quarter of last year and $393 million in the previous quarter.
In the third quarter, the company had $193 million of non-recurring costs associated with the integration of Smith Barney and the purchase of an additional 14% stake in the joint venture. This increased its stake to 65% from 51%, with the remaining 35% share held by Citigroup.