Bank of America (ticker: BAC) is gearing up to release its third-quarter earnings before the opening bell on Tuesday. While other major banks have recently posted strong performances, such as JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Citigroup (C), and Wells Fargo (WFC), expectations for Bank of America remain cautious. Analysts predict a profit of $6.7 billion, slightly higher than the same period last year, translating to earnings of 83 cents per share on $25.1 billion in revenue.
One key factor that has supported banks in this uncertain economic climate is net interest income, and Bank of America is expected to see a 2% increase in this area, reaching $14.1 billion. However, JPMorgan experienced a significant 30% year-over-year surge in net interest income due to its acquisition of First Republic Bank in May, while Wells Fargo saw an 8% increase.
Despite the positive trend in net interest income, bank executives have warned that this trend may soon come to an end. JPMorgan's CEO Jamie Dimon recently cautioned that the bank might be "over-earning." Therefore, as Wall Street adjusts its expectations regarding net interest income gains, investors will closely scrutinize other aspects of Bank of America's business—particularly its balance sheet—as the company announces its results.
According to reports, Bank of America has been labeled the "problem child" among major banks, adding further significance to its upcoming earnings report.
Bank of America Faces Massive Paper Losses
Bank of America, one of the largest banks in the United States, is grappling with significant unrealized losses on its mortgage securities and government debt. As of the second quarter, these losses amounted to a staggering $105.8 billion, representing nearly a fifth of the industrywide losses resulting from the Federal Reserve's rapid interest rate hikes.
To make matters worse, projections indicate that Bank of America's paper losses could surge by an additional $10 billion to $15 billion in the third quarter. This increase is primarily attributed to the recent spike in bond yields, according to estimates from experts.
While Bank of America's "too big to fail" status safeguards it from a fate similar to that of Silicon Valley Bank, these substantial paper losses are undeniably burdening the institution. However, Bank of America is actively addressing this issue by strategically downsizing its portfolio and redirecting investments towards cash and loans. Chief Financial Officer Alastair Borthwick emphasized this strategy during the bank's first-quarter earnings call in April.
Unsurprisingly, these challenging circumstances have taken a toll on Bank of America's stock performance. Shares have dropped by 18% this year, significantly underperforming the KBW Nasdaq Bank Index (BKX), which suffered a 23% decline.
Overall, Bank of America's ongoing efforts to mitigate its portfolio losses will be closely monitored by investors and industry analysts alike as they navigate this volatile market landscape.