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BofA Q4'18 net income jumps YOY due to tax reform, 'strong operating leverage'

Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America Corp. reported net income applicable to common shareholders of $7.04 billion, or 70 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2018, rising from net income of $2.08 billion, or 20 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2017.

The S&P Global Market Intelligence consensus GAAP EPS estimate for the fourth quarter was 64 cents.

The company attributed the 208% jump in net income to "continued strong operating leverage and asset quality, as well as the benefit of tax reform impacting 2018."

Adjusting for the impact of the Tax Act in 2017, EPS rose 49% year over year, the company said.

Total loans and leases stood at $946.90 billion at the end of the quarter, compared to $929.80 billion at the end of the linked quarter and $936.75 billion a year earlier.

Total deposits rose 3% sequentially and increased 5% from the fourth quarter of the previous year to $1.381 trillion.

For full year 2018, the company reported net income of $26.70 billion, or $2.61 per share, compared to net income of $16.62 billion, or $1.56 per share, in the previous year.

During the recent quarter, the consumer banking segment's net income jumped more than 50% to $3.34 billion in the 2018 fourth quarter from the year-ago quarter's $2.20 billion. Global wealth and investment management net income was $1.06 billion in the recent quarter, up from $744 million a year ago. The global banking segment's net income amounted to $2.11 billion, higher than the $1.68 billion in the year-ago quarter. Lastly, net income excluding net debit valuation adjustment for the global markets segment for the recent quarter was $453 million, down from $483 million in the 2017 fourth quarter.

BofA repurchased $20.1 billion in common stock during 2018. The banking giant also expanded in 26 new and existing markets in 2018 and opened 81 new financial centers in the last 12 months.