Bank of America Corp said on Monday first-quarter profit more than doubled, as higher revenue from the purchase of Merrill Lynch & Co and a one-time gain from selling shares of a Chinese bank offset a surge in credit losses.

The results are unlikely to stem calls for Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis to be ousted, or to give up his job as chairman.

Lewis faces intense pressure over the Merrill purchase, which shareholders approved before learning of big losses at Merrill that would prompt a government bailout.

Bank of America has also infuriated regulators over the award of big bonuses to Merrill workers, and the bank's share price has fallen by more than two-thirds since the merger was announced in September.

Net income applicable to common shareholders of Bank of America rose to $2.81 billion, or 44 cents per share, from $1.02 billion, or 23 cents, a year earlier. Net revenue more than doubled to $35.76 billion.

Before the impact of preferred stock dividends, net income more than tripled to $4.25 billion from $1.21 billion.

Results reflected a $1.9 billion pre-tax gain on the sale of shares of China Construction Bank Corp <601939.SS>, and $2.2 billion of gains tied to some Merrill structured notes because credit spreads widened.

Credit quality deteriorated broadly as the economy weakened, housing prices fell and unemployment rose. Bank of America set aside $13.38 billion for credit losses, up from the fourth-quarter's $8.54 billion.

(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Derek Caney)