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Bank Of America, Wells Fargo Beat Wall Street Expectations In Third-Quarter Profits

Bank of America and Wells Fargo both reported strong third-quarter profits Wednesday. 

Bank of America says it earned $4.5 billion in the third quarter, or 37 cents per share. That beat analysts’ expectations of about 33 cents. The bank lost $232 million in the same quarter a year ago, largely due to legal costs from its mortgage securities settlement with the Justice Department. B of A’s legal expenses in the quarter last year were $6 billion. That fell to $231 million this year.

Wells Fargo reported an increase in profit for the first time in three quarters. The bank says it earned $5.8 billion or $1.04 a share. That’s up 1 percent from the third quarter last year. Wells is the country’s largest mortgage lender, and low interest rates have made it difficult for the company to grow its earnings.

Bank of America stock closed the day up 0.7 percent; Well Fargo was down about 0.7 percent.