Earnings: BofA, Wachovia, Ambac

Jan 22, 2008 @ 11:08 am

By Andrew Coen

Credit woes caused Bank of America and Wachovia’s profits to fall sharply in the fourth quarter.

Bank of America’s fourth quarter earnings dropped 95% due to write-offs for subprime credit problems, large trading losses and a loss of consumer confidence.

The Charlotte, NC-based bank said that net income for the fourth quarter fell to $268 million, or 5 cents a share, down from $5.26 billion or $1.16 a share, in the year-ago-period.

Bank of America said its provision for loan losses jumped to $1.99 billion.

Assets under management rose to 17% to $1.74 trillion, up from $1.49 trillion reported a year earlier.

"Our fourth quarter results were severely impacted by ongoing dislocations in capital markets and the slowing economy," said Kenneth Lewis, Bank of America chairman and chief executive.

Wachovia posted a net-income loss of 98% resulting from the bank dramatically raising its loan-loss provision due to a deteriorating lending portfolio.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based bank said earnings fell to $51 million, or 3 cents a share, compared to $2.3 billion a year ago.

Corporate and investment-banking operations fell to $596 million but the capital-markets business rose 42% to $350 million thanks in large part to the October acquisition of A.G. Edwards.

Revenue fell 17% to $7.2 billion from the year-ago period with $1.7 billion in mortgage-related losses.

"The continued turmoil in the capital markets and the dramatic change in the credit environment diminished our fourth quarter results substantially," said Ken Thompson, Wachovia chairman and chief executive.

In the aftermath of a dive in bond shares, Ambac Financial Group reported large-scale fourth quarter losses.

Ambac’s fourth-quarter earnings dropped $3.26 billion, or $31.85 per share from the $202.7 million, or $1.88 a share reported a year ago.

The New York-based firm’s operating loss reached $6.21 per share compared to a profit of $1.88 per share in the year-ago period.

Ambrac also reported a $5.2 million market-to-market loss on credit derivative exposures.

The bleak fourth-quarter report comes nearly a week after shares of Ambac’s bond insurers plunged due to renewed concerns Moody’s Investor’s Services may slash the firm’s AAA rating (InvestmentNews, Jan. 17).


What do you think?

View comments

Recommended for you

Related stories

Featured video


The biggest hurdle advisers will face after the midterm elections

Managing editor Christina Nelson and senior reporter Mark Schoeff Jr. discuss the turnover in Congress demanding a significant reeducation of legislators about the advice profession.

Latest news & opinion

The midterm elections: What's at stake for financial advisers

A shift in control of the House could change the course of important issues, including the SEC advice rule, tax reform and retirement policies.

What to tell your clients after they've won the lottery

The current combined Mega Millions and Powerball jackpots are more than $850 million. What should you tell your clients if they have a winning ticket?

2019 Medicare premiums announced

Slight increase in Part B premium to $135.50 per month is in line with expectations.

7 ways states got tough with unregistered individuals and firms in 2017

Rise in digital currency frauds helped trigger a crackdown by state regulators.

Market slide awakens nervous investors, puts advisers back to work

Some reach out to clients who need hand-holding, while others see decline as opportunity to drum up new business.


Hi! Glad you're here and we hope you like all the great work we do here at InvestmentNews. But what we do is expensive and is funded in part by our sponsors. So won't you show our sponsors a little love by whitelisting investmentnews.com? It'll help us continue to serve you.

Yes, show me how to whitelist investmentnews.com

Ad blocker detected. Please whitelist us or give premium a try.


Subscribe and Save 60%

Premium Access
Print + Digital

Learn more
Subscribe to Print