The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) has gained 65 points in pre-market trading, suggesting a strong start to the stock market today. Wall Street looks set to follow world markets higher in this session. Global stocks posted big gains overnight, with Japan's Nikkei index rising by 3% and European stocks higher by 0.9% as of 7:30 a.m EDT.
Earnings season continues to give investors plenty of fresh information to digest, and today is no different as banking giants Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), US Bancorp (NYSE:USB), and PNC Financial (NYSE:PNC) all announced results before the opening bell. Let's dig right in.
Bank of America posted a fiscal first quarter loss of $0.05 a share, compared to the $0.10 in profit that it booked last year. Revenue dipped by 3% to $22.8 billion thanks to shrinking mortgage demand: mortgage originations fell 65% in the quarter. But the reason for the sharp profit drop was a $6 billion litigation expense that BofA expensed, which cleaved $0.40 from per-share earnings. Or, as CEO Brian Moynihan put it in a press release accompanying the results, "the cost of resolving more of our mortgage issues hurt earnings this quarter." While it's good news to have that litigation behind them, investors have to hope the company doesn't have billions more in mortgage issues still left to "resolve." The stock was down 0.9% in pre-market trading.
PNC Financial, the nation's sixth-largest bank, today posted quarterly earnings that beat estimates -- but revenue that came up short. PNC earned $1.82 a share in profit, which was well ahead of the $1.66 that analysts had expected. Revenue shrunk by 5%, while Wall Street was looking for a more modest 2.5% dip. Nonetheless, CEO William Demchak called the results "a successful first quarter," and highlighted the fact that PNC booked its fourth-straight quarter of $1 billion or more in earnings. That was despite a 41% plunge in its residential mortgage business. The megabank’s stock was up 2% in pre-market trading.
Finally, US Bancorp booked flat earnings of $0.73 a share, exactly what analysts expected. Revenue came in at $4.8 billion, also as expected. The bank saw a healthy 8.5% spike in its commercial lending business, while its overall loan portfolio grew by 6%. Meanwhile, the company continues to turn in some industry-leading performances, including its return on overall assets, which this quarter was just over 1.5%. The stock was up 0.8% in pre-market trading.