Bank of America makes a perfect zero – but its healthy businesses are growing

17 Oct 2012

Markets groaned at Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s results yesterday — net income of precisely $0.00 a share — then smiled at them, before deciding by the end of the day that they didn’t care. The bank’s share price fell by 1.5%, then was up by a similar amount, before ending the day unchanged at $9.44.

The bank actually made net income of $340m in the third quarter, but this was so clouded in adjustments that investors understandably took a while to unpick the real trends. Before tax, profit was $1.11bn, down from $3.1bn in the previous quarter and $7.4bn a year ago.

Profit was ...

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