Bank of America profit drops 18 per cent on weak trading unit

NEW YORK, N.Y. – Bank of America’s first-quarter profit fell more than 18 per cent from a year earlier, hurt by weak performance in its trading unit.

Its shares edged lower in premarket trading Thursday.

BofA said trading revenue fell more than 15 per cent to $3.3 billion as it made less money from investment banking fees.

At its consumer banking unit, where the company makes most of its money, profit rose 22 per cent to $1.79 billion as people deposited more money into their accounts and took out more loans.

The Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank reported a profit after payment of dividends to preferred shareholders of $2.22 billion, or 21 cents per share, in the quarter that ended in March. That’s compared to $2.72 billion, or 25 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.

The results met the expectations of Wall Street analysts, according to FactSet.

BofA’s revenue in the quarter was $19.51 billion, down 6.6 per cent from $20.91 billion a year ago,

Shares of Bank of America Corp. slipped 6 cents to $13.73 in premarket trading about 45 minutes before the market open.

On Wednesday, fellow bank JPMorgan Chase & Co. also reported a drop in first-quarter profit, hurt by weak results at its investment bank. But its earnings still beat Wall Street expectations. Citigroup Inc. will release its financial results on Friday.