BofA misses on revenues, posting $18.7B in 4Q

Originated $15B in mortgages in 2014; legacy costs down 38% YOY

Bank of America Corporation (BAC) reported revenue, net of interest expense, as $18.73 billion, compared to $21.7 billion in the fourth quarter of 2013.

That's about $2.2 billion below analyst expectations.

"In 2014, we continued to invest in our businesses while reducing expenses and resolving our most significant litigation matters," said Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan. "Last quarter, consumer deposits and loan originations were solid; wealth management client balances grew to $2.5 trillion; we increased lending to middle-market and large companies; and we retained a leadership position in investment banking."

The banking giant posted fourth quarter net income of $3.1 billion, or $0.25 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2014, compared to $3.4 billion, or $0.29 per diluted share in the year-ago period.

For the full year, net income was $4.8 billion, or $0.36 per diluted share, compared to $11.4 billion, or $0.90 per diluted share in 2013.

"There's more work and tremendous opportunity ahead as we improve on the platform we've built to serve our customers and clients, and we enter 2015 in good shape to manage both the opportunities and the challenges the markets and economy will offer," Moynihan said.

Legacy Assets and Servicing, the business unit that is responsible for servicing residential mortgage and home equity loans, continued to make solid progress in its efforts to reduce expenses. Noninterest expense, excluding litigation, declined to $1.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014, compared to $1.3 billion in the prior quarter and $1.8 billion in the year-ago quarter as the number of 60+ days delinquent loans was reduced to 189,000 from 221,000 in the prior quarter and 325,000 in the year-ago quarter

The company originated $11.6 billion in first-lien residential mortgage loans and $3.4 billion in home equity lines during the fourth quarter of 2014, compared to $11.7 billion and $3.2 billion in the prior quarter.

The number of 60+ days delinquent first mortgage loans serviced by Legacy Assets and Servicing declined by 136,000 loans, or 42%, from the fourth quarter of 2013 to 189,000 loans.

Noninterest expense in LAS, excluding litigation, declined to $1.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2014 from $1.8 billion in the year-ago quarter.

Consumer Real Estate Services reported a net loss of $397 million for the fourth quarter of 2014, compared to a net loss of $1.0 billion for the same period in 2013, driven primarily by lower litigation expense.

Revenue declined $538 million from the fourth quarter of 2013 to $1.2 billion, driven primarily by lower servicing fees due to a smaller servicing portfolio. Core production revenue declined $107 million from the year-ago quarter to $297 million.

The benefit in the provision for credit losses decreased $343 million from the year-ago quarter to a benefit of $131 million, driven primarily by a slower pace of credit quality improvement.

Noninterest expense decreased $1.8 billion from the year-ago quarter to $1.9 billion, due to lower litigation expense and lower LAS default-related staffing and other default-related servicing expenses. Home Loans expenses also declined reflecting increased productivity.

3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

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