Bank of America Fourth-Quarter Earnings Top Full-Year 2012 Earnings as Mortgage Business Improves

Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2013 earnings per share (EPS) today of $0.29 and $0.90, respectively. Both of these represented marked improvements over the EPS of $0.03 seen in the fourth quarter of 2012, and, in fact, the earnings per share of $0.29 seen in the fourth quarter was greater than the $0.25 EPS posted for all of 2012.

"We are pleased to see the core businesses continue to perform well, serving our customers and clients," said Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan of the results.

One of the biggest drivers for the improvement at Bank of America was the improvements in its mortgage banking business, which went from reporting a loss of $540 million in the fourth quarter of 2012, to a gain of $850 million in the most recent quarter. This was due in large part to its representation and warranties provision, what it expects to lose on loans and is subtracted out of revenue, falling from $2.9 billion to $70 million.

Bank of America's Consumer Real Estate Services business segment went from reporting a loss of $3.7 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012, to a loss of $1.1 billion in the most recent quarter. In addition, the company saw strong results from its Consumer & Business Banking segment, where net income rose from $1.5 billion to $2.0 billion in the most recent quarter.

In total, Bank of America's net income rose to $3.4 billion in the fourth quarter, an improvement over the $700 million seen in the fourth quarter of last year. The full-year results were also significantly better, as it posted a net income of $11.4 billion in 2013 versus $4.2 billion in 2012. In addition, revenue at Bank of America rose from $83.3 billion to $88.9 billion in 2013.

"We enter this year with one of the strongest balance sheets in our company's history," added Chief Financial Officer Bruce Thompson. "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."

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