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Bank of America posts earnings beat, excluding tax charge

Evelyn Cheng
Christopher Goodney | Bloomberg | Getty Images. Bank of America reported better-than-expected adjusted fourth quarter earnings Wednesday before the opening bell.

Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) reported better-than-expected adjusted fourth quarter earnings Wednesday before the opening bell.

The bank did also post a charge of $2.9 billion related to the new tax law, and revenue fell short of expectations.The bank reported fourth-quarter:Adjusted earnings per share of 47 cents, versus expectations of 44 cents from analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.Adjusted revenue of $21.4 billion, versus expectations of $21.531 billion.Bank of America shares are up nearly 36 percent over the last 12 months.Analysts were watching for the impact of low volatility and the new tax legislation on the bank's fourth quarter results.The bank reported fixed income trading revenues fell 13 percent in the fourth quarter.

Bank of America said in a Dec. 22 filing it expects a $3 billion hit to fourth quarter results as a result of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. And in early December, CEO Brian Moynihan said trading revenues were tracking for a 15 percent decline in the fourth quarter from the same period last year.

Last week, J.P. Morgan Chase (NYSE: JPM) reported a 34 percent drop in fixed income markets trading revenue in the fourth quarter. Earnings per share and revenue both beat expectations.

Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC) on Friday reported an earnings beat, helped by the new tax law. But the bank's quarterly revenue missed expectations.

Most banks have reported a fourth quarter-hit from the new tax legislation. J.P. Morgan announced a $2.4 billion charge. On Tuesday, Citigroup (NYSE: C) posted a one-time, noncash charge of about $22 billion for the fourth quarter due to the new tax law. Excluding that charge, the bank reported better-than-expected earnings per share, helped by growth in consumer banking.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) is also set to report quarterly results Wednesday morning, while Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) is set to post results Thursday.

— Reuters contributed to this report.

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