Bank of America Bad-Loan Provisions at 2007 Level
NEW YORK (AP) - Bank of America said Thursday that it set aside less money to cover bad loans in the first three months of the year than it has since before the 2008 financial crisis.
The bank said it earned $653 million in the first quarter, or 3 cents per share. That included an accounting charge of 28 cents per share because the value of Bank of America’s debt rose.
Without the accounting charge, Bank of America beat the estimate of 9 cents by Wall Street analysts polled by FactSet, a provider of financial data. The stock climbed in premarket trading.
Banks have to record an accounting charge when the value of their debt rises on the open market because it would cost the banks more in theory to buy back that debt.
The bank said it put aside $2.4 billion for bad loans, down from $3.8 billion in the same quarter a year ago and the lowest since the third quarter of 2007, a year before the financial crisis.
The bank serves about half of American households and is a good barometer of the economy. It was a clear sign that the Americans were getting their household finances in order and paying down debt.
Bank of America’s real estate business narrowed its losses in the quarter to $1.1 billion from $2.4 billion a year ago. Revenue from real estate increased slightly, to $2.7 billion, and the bank said it issued more mortgages and refinanced more loans.