BofA Posts Mixed 1Q Results, Shares Slide

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), the second largest bank in the U.S. by assets, revealed a worse-than-expected decline in first-quarter earnings on Wednesday and softer net interest income, sending its shares lower ahead of the bell.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based bank reported net income of $2.6 billion, or 20 cents a share, up sharply compared with a year-earlier profit of $653 million, or 3 cents, as expenses were slashed and the credit environment improved.

However, the results missed average analyst estimates of 22 cents in a Thomson Reuters poll and net interest income fell to $10.88 billion from $11.05 billion a year ago, weighed down by lower consumer loan balances and asset yields amid historically low interest rates, BofA said.

CEO Brian Moynihan, whose bank is the last of the big four U.S. banks to report, has improved the state of the bank’s mortgage group and its cash position since taking the helm three years ago but continues to face scrutiny from investors looking for solid results in a still lackluster economy with tightening regulations.

Cushioning last quarter's results was a 5% decrease in expenses to $5.2 billion with long-term debt down $75.3 billion from a year ago. The company on Wednesday said it planned to axe another $8 billion in costs my mid-2015.

Revenue for the three-month period was up 5% to $23.7 billion compared with $22.5 billion a year ago, beating the Street’s view of $23.41 billion, and BofA’s provision for credit losses improved to $1.71 billion from $2.42 billion a year ago.

"There were many examples of progress this quarter," said BofA Chief Financial Officer Bruce Thompson said in a statement. “Our relentless focus on capital, liquidity, and expense reduction enables us to be in position to return excess capital to investors.”

Shares of BofA slumped close to 3% premarket to $11.95.