Monday, October 06, 2008

BofA Cuts Dividend in Half, Sees Further Weakening

by Calculated Risk on 10/06/2008 04:21:00 PM

From BofA: Bank of America Announces Third Quarter Earnings and Capital Raising Initiatives

Bank of America Corporation today reported third quarter 2008 net income of $1.18 billion, or $0.15 per share, down from $3.70 billion, or $0.82 per share, a year earlier.
The company intends to sell common stock with a target of raising $10 billion. In addition, the Board of Directors has declared a quarterly dividend on common stock of $0.32 to be paid on December 26, 2008 to shareholders of record on December 5, 2008. Assuming the current number of issued and outstanding shares, the reduction from $0.64 paid in recent quarters would add more than $1.4 billion to capital each quarter.

"These are the most difficult times for financial institutions that I have experienced in my 39 years in banking," said Kenneth D. Lewis, chairman and chief executive officer. "We believe it is prudent to raise capital to very substantial levels in this uncertain environment. Both economic and financial market conditions have changed significantly in the last two months. We were willing to operate at capital levels over the short-term that were good, but not at our targeted levels, given projections two months ago. We now believe it is important to be at or near our 8 percent Tier 1 capital ratio target given the recessionary conditions and outlook for still weaker economic performance which we expect to drive higher credit losses and depress earnings. We believe that achieving higher capital levels today will position our company to provide credit to those consumers and businesses that are attracted to our strength and stability.
emphasis added
And a few key excerpts:
Reflecting deteriorating economic conditions, the consumer credit card business experienced a decrease in purchase volumes, slowing repayments and increased delinquencies during the quarter.
And delinquencies are spreading:
Increased loss and delinquency trends first experienced in the home equity and homebuilder portfolios have now spread into the first mortgage, unsecured consumer lending and credit card portfolios. Deterioration has been more pronounced in California and Florida, which have been hit harder by home price depreciation and rising unemployment than in other markets. Commercial losses in sectors other than real estate and small business also increased, but remain below normalized ranges.