Bank of America (BAC) reported net income on Wednesday of $2.6 billion, or $0.20 per share, for the first quarter of 2013, compared with $653 million, or $0.03 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2012. Revenue, net of interest expense, rose 5% to $23.7 billion from $22.5 billion a year ago.
Analysts, however, had expected earnings of $0.23 per share.
“Our strategy of connecting our customers to all we can do for them is working,” said CEO Brian Moynihan, in a press release. “Solid increases in loan growth to small businesses and middle-market companies, four straight quarters of steady growth in mortgage originations, record earnings in wealth management, and another quarter near the top in investment banking fees show we are balanced, focused and moving forward.”
Merrill Lynch’s thundering herd improved its yearly fees and commissions, or production level, in the quarter. The number of advisors across the company, though, declined both year over year and for the quarter.
Yearly advisor productivity, as measured by fees and commissions, stood at $971,000 vs. $891,000 a year ago and $927,000 in the prior quarter. (These figures do not include the results of advisors in consumer and business-banking operations.)
The firm’s number of financial advisors was 16,084 versus 16,692 a year ago and 16,411 in the prior quarter. There were 17,312 wealth advisors, down from 18,004 a year ago and 17,640 in the final quarter of 2012. The full tally of client-facing professionals was 20,037 versus 20,982 in the year-ago period and 20,386 in the previous quarter.