Bank of America Corp, the largest U.S. bank by assets, reported a second straight quarterly loss, driven by a $2 billion writedown of its mortgage business.
The bank posted a fourth-quarter net loss of $1.2 billion, or 16 cents a share, compared with a loss of $5.2 billion, or 60 cents a share, a year earlier. Last year's results included a one-time Troubled Asset Relief Program-related charge of $4 billion.
Excluding the mortgage business writedown, the bank earned $756 million, or 4 cents per share.
Bank of America shares fell 2.8 percent in electronic premarket trading.
The following is reaction from industry analysts and investors:
MANOJ LADWA, SENIOR TRADER, ETX CAPITAL, LONDON
Bank of America's purchase of Countrywide Financial Corp in 2008 continues to remain a thorn in its side as it was forced to make further provisions for bad debts. With ongoing investigations into faulty loans made by the U.S.'s largest bank by assets and a lack of clarity on liability, expect continued weakness in its share price.
MIKE LENHOFF, CHIEF STRATEGIST, BREWIN DOLPHIN, LONDON
The banks are not doing so well so far in this reporting run. On the other hand if you look at the non financial sector, on balance, the results are not bad, so I don't think the markets are going to get carried away with some poor results from the banks .
If you look at some of the companies geared toward America and developing economies it appears the results are good and if you take that as a reflection of the underlying fundamentals then you have to conclude that things are reasonably solid.
GARY TOWNSEND, PRESIDENT, HILL-TOWNSEND CAPITAL, CHEVY CHASE, MARYLAND
Clearly, the headline number disappoints. We were looking for around 14 cents, but we have not had time to sort through all the numbers yet and see what the core operating numbers are like.
It's primarily a credit story, combined with investment banking...Primarily, I'm looking at what's going on in the credit portfolio and then what's going on in the investment bank. With Merrill, how have they managed through the quarter relative to their peers?
I think the mortgage putback aspect is very manageable.
(Reporting by Elinor Comlay, Tricia Wright and David Brett in London)