BofA profit beats estimates on loan growth, lower expenses

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(Reuters) – Bank of America Corp reported quarterly profit above Wall Street expectations as the second-largest U.S. lender kept a tight leash on expenses and benefited from growth in loans and deposits.

FILE PHOTO: A customer uses an ATM at a Bank of America branch in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S., October 11, 2017. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

Total loans increased 2 percent, with the bank’s consumer banking and wealth management businesses both recording growth of about 7 percent.

Recent moves by regulators and politicians to lower tax rates have largely benefited U.S. banks, but concerns around an escalating trade war between the United States and China have cast some doubt on future loan growth.

Speaking at a conference in May, the bank’s head of global corporate banking said the pipeline of new loans was better than it was in 2017, but that it was too soon to predict lending demand for the year.

“Solid operating leverage and client activity drove earnings higher this quarter… We grew consumer and commercial loans; we grew deposits,” Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan said in a statement.

BofA’s shares rose 1 percent in premarket trading.

Net income applicable to common shareholders rose to $6.47 billion in the second quarter, from $4.75 billion a year earlier.

Earnings per share was 63 cents, compared with 44 cents a year earlier.

Excluding items, it earned 64 cents per share compared with the average expectation of 57 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Noninterest expense fell 5 percent, while tax bill was down 43 percent.

Revenue, net of interest expense, fell 1 percent to $22.76 billion. Revenue in the year earlier quarter included a $793 million pretax gain on the sale of the bank’s non-U.S. consumer card business.

Reporting by Sweta Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty

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