Despite a difficult quarter for its parent company, Merrill Lynch reported that its fourth-quarter revenue rose.
The Bank of America unit increased its total client assets 6% to $1.58 trillion as revenue rose 13% to $3.55 billion from a year earlier as the country’s second largest U.S. brokerage company added to its advisors.
In the fourth quarter, Merrill added 22 advisors from the previous quarter to give it 15,498. This marked its sixth consecutive quarter of advisor growth.
Merrill has increased its advisor force 2% since the end of 20009.
Bank of America reported that its wealth and investment management division nearly had $4.28 billion of revenue in the fourth quarter.
Despite these strong results, Bank of America reported a fourth-quarter loss due to hefty charges related to its real estate assets,.
The Charlotte, N.C. financial services company posted a net loss of $1.24 billion, or 16 cents per share. The loss included a previously announced goodwill-impairment charge of $2 billion related to its home loans and insurance business. Excluding that charge, BofA would have posted a profit of $756 million, or 4 cents a share.
“Last year was a necessary repair and rebuilding year,” Brian Moynihan, BofA’s chief executive officer, said in a press release.
By comparison, the company recorded a net loss of $194 million, or 60 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts expected BofA to report a net income of 18 cents a share.
“Our results reflect the progress we are making at putting legacy — primarily mortgage-related — issues behind us,” Moynihan said.