Bank of America Corp beat analysts’ estimates for quarterly profit on Wednesday, as the second-biggest U.S. lender’s bond trading division posted a strong showing, eclipsing declines at its three other major businesses.
Lower interest rates caused a drop in profit in each of the bank’s business except global markets, which was boosted by the jump in bond trading.
Bond trading revenue jumped 25% to $1.8 billion from a year earlier, when financial markets were roiled by trade and global growth concerns.
Loan growth of 6% at the bank significantly outpaced those reported by big bank rivals Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase and Co.
However, revenue in its consumer banking fell 5% to $9.5 billion.
The Federal Reserve cut rates three times last year, after having raised interest rates nine times since 2015.
Bank of America is the most vulnerable among the big U.S. banks to fluctuations in interest rates because of its large deposit stock and rate-sensitive mortgage securities.
Net income applicable to common shareholders fell to $6.75 billion in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, from $7.04 billion a year earlier.
On a per share basis, profit rose to 74 cents from 70 cents.
Excluding items, the bank reported a profit of 75 cents per share, beating analysts’ estimate of 68 cents.
Revenue, net of interest expense, fell slightly to $22.35 billion.