Bank of America posts $1.6 billion profit

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Bank of America Corp. reported a $1.6 billion fourth-quarter profit for common shareholders, meeting analysts' expectations amid rising loan balances and continued steps to build capital and slash expenses.

The gain of 15 cents per diluted share, announced early this morning, marks a turnaround from the same period in 2010, when the Charlotte-based bank posted a $1.6 billion loss as it continued to absorb charges related to its troubled mortgage unit.

"The last two years, we've been executing on a huge transformation here at Bank of America," chief executive Brian Moynihan said during a conference call with analysts today. "We set on a course to simplify the company, to streamline the company, to reduce the size of the company, to lower our risk ... As we think about 2012, we begin with a much stronger position."

It marks the second profitable quarter in a row and falls in line with analysts' predictions, which ranged from about 10 to 21 cents per share. Analysts this morning said the bank's progress raising capital was promising, but some called the overall results unimpressive, considering the continued "noise" from one-time gains such as asset sales.

Read the complete story at