Bank of America reported net income 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.
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.
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.)
Global Wealth and Investment Management net income rose 31% from the first quarter of 2012 and 25% from the prior period to $720 million. “Revenue increased 7% from the year-ago quarter to $4.4 billion, driven by higher asset-management fees related to higher market levels and long-term AUM flows, higher transactional revenue and higher net interest income,” the company said in a statement. “The pretax margin was a record 26% for the first quarter of 2013, up from 21% in the year-ago quarter.”
Total assets under management were $2.25 trillion, with about $1.83 billion held in Merrill Lynch client accounts. Flows of assets under management in the quarter were $18 billion versus $11.7 billion in the prior quarter and $7.8 billion a year ago.
Morgan Stanley said it had net sales of $8.2 billion for the first quarter compared with revenues of $6.9 billion a year ago. For the current quarter, income from continuing operations applicable to Morgan Stanley was $1.0 billion, or $0.50 per share, compared with a loss of $79 million, or a loss of $0.05 per share, for the year-ago period.
Excluding a debt-value adjustment of $317 million, net revenues for the current quarter were $8.5 billion, compared with $8.9 billion a year ago and income from continuing operations applicable to Morgan Stanley was $1.2 billion, or $0.61 per share, compared with income of $1.4 billion, or $0.71 per share a year ago. Analysts had expected the company to report earnings excluding items like DVA of $0.57 a share on $8.35 billion in revenue, according Reuters.
Morgan Stanley’s Global Wealth Management Group reported pretax income from continuing operations of $597 million compared with $562 million in the prior quarter and $403 million in the first quarter of last year. The quarter’s pretax margin was 17% versus 17% in the prior quarter and 12% a year ago.
Net revenues for the current quarter were $3.47 billion, compared with $3.32 billion in the prior quarter and $3.29 billion a year ago. Income after the non-controlling interest allocation to Citigroup and before taxes was $476 million. Net income for the first quarter of 2013 was $255 million, down 4% from $267 million in the prior quarter, but up 29% from the year-ago quarter.
In terms of the unit’s advisor headcount, Morgan Stanley had 16,284 reps as of March 30 versus 16,352 as of Dec. 31, 2012, and 16,726 as of March 30, 2012—a 3% year-over-year decline (or a loss of 442 advisors). As its headcount fell slightly, its annualized average fees and commissions per advisor rose to $851,000—a 5% jump from the earlier quarter and a 9% jump from last year.
The average level of client assets per rep was $110 million, up from $104 million three months ago and $100 million a year before. Total client assets were $1.8 trillion at quarter end.
Fee-based assets continue to rise. They now stand at 35% of total assets versus 33% in Q4’12 and 31% in Q1’12. Meanwhile, fee-based asset flows were $15.3 billion in the most recent quarter, up from $6.9 billion in the prior quarter and $10.2 billion a year before.
Wells Fargo’s nearly 30% of the mortgage market helped the bank maintain its 13th consecutive quarter of profitability. Revenue at Wells was down 1.7% in the first quarter, though, to $21.26 billion after the bank took a 2.6% hit to its mortgage business, and low interest rates hurt profitability despite an 8% rise in deposits.