For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – April 19, 2010 – announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Bank of America Corporation (BAC), JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Goldman Sachs (GS), Morgan Stanley (MS) and Wells Fargo (WFC).

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Here are highlights from Friday’s Analyst Blog:

BofA Beats, Swings to Profit

Bank of America Corporation’s (BAC) first quarter 2010 earnings came in at 28 cents per share, substantially ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 9 cents. However, this compares unfavorably with the earnings of 44 cents in the prior-year quarter.

Strong capital markets activity and lower provision for credit losses were the primary factors that helped BAC to bounce back to profitability after incurring significant losses for the last couple of quarters.

Since the end of 2009, BofA has been absolutely free from pay restrictions as it has repaid the full TARP money.

In Mar 2010, BofA said that it would forgo about $3 billion in principal loan amounts for about 45,000 troubled borrowers. BofA is expected to start the process in May 2010. Following the execution, BofA will be the first U.S. mortgage lender to take such a systematic approach to reduce mortgage principal to help distressed borrowers by preventing foreclosures.

Most of the major banks are still suffering from losses related to mortgages and credit cards of their retail banking operations. However, earlier this week, JPMorgan Chase (JPM) — the first of the major banks to report — posted strong first quarter results with solid investment banking performance and lower loan losses.

JPMorgan’s first quarter earnings came in at 74 cents per share, substantially ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 63 cents. Obviously, the results of JPMorgan and BofA have raised the bar for other major U.S. banks.

Following JPMorgan and BofA, the other major banks that are scheduled to report next week are Citigroup on April 19, Goldman Sachs (GS) on April 20, Morgan Stanley (MS) on April 21 and Wells Fargo (WFC) on April 21. 

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