Bank of America Corp. (BAC) trimmed its workforce by 2.3% to 204,489, as of Dec. 31, after remaining relatively unchanged at around 209,000 the past two years. At the same time, personnel expense slipped just 1.6% to $31.88 billion, which lifts the personnel expense per employee by 2.2% to $155,901 from $152,506. The workforce cut comes as the number of financial centers in the U.S. fell 3.0% to 4,341, while the number of branded automated teller machines (ATMs) rose 1.3% to 16,255 after a 0.7% increase in ATMs in 2017. Overall, 2018 noninterest expenses declined 2.5% from 2017 to $53.38 billion. Axel Pierron, managing director of capital markets at consultancy Opimas, praised BofA's cost-cutting moves. "Bank of America's quarterly results demonstrate the bank's ability to adapt its expense structure to market conditions," Pierron said in an emailed comment to MarketWatch. "While there is still room for further improvement, the bank is nevertheless addressing the necessity of having a more flexible cost structure head-on." The stock surged 5.4% in premarket trade, after BofA beat fourth-quarter earnings and revenue expectations ( ). The stock has declined 15.0% over the past 12 months through Tuesday, while the S&P 500 has slipped 6.0%.
-Tomi Kilgore; 415-439-6400; AskNewswires@dowjones.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
January 16, 2019 09:09 ET (14:09 GMT)
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