Tomahawk, WI 12/16/2013 (BasicsMedia) – Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC) is the second largest lender in the U.S. in terms of asset base. The company has various banking and non-banking operations throughout the U.S. and international markets. BAC offers a wide range of banking and non-banking services to individual consumers, businesses, corporations and governments. Its services touch on consumer and business banking, wealth management, and customer real estate.

Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC) is a member of Fortune 500 Companies, and it has a market value of $162.17 billion. This value can be seen through its 10.68 billion outstanding shares trading at about $15.20 each. The bank is currently facing a string of lawsuits and has already paid more than $40 billion in settlements and related penalties.

Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC) has recently agreed to pay $131.8 million to the Securities Exchange Commission in penalty to settle investigations mortgage securities that were sold to investors by its Merrill Lynch division. The other ongoing settlements and lawsuits touch on the dealing of Countrywide which BAC acquired just before the mortgage burst.

The bank is up

Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC) is up significantly since the end of the financial recession. But like most of its peers, it is still recovering from the financial crisis devastation in most of its operations. The stock is up higher in percentile gain than its peers in recent quarters. But at around $15.18 per share, the stock is seen trading sideways and this suggests that it will need some time to correct and consolidate before another phase of upward rally can be noted.

Investors can be seen showing faith in the stock as it settles its legal issues rather faster than its peers in the same maze. Basically, the bank’s CEO Brian Moynihan has made it clear that BAC is out to get all the legal issues it is facing behind it as soon as possible so that it can focus its resources and energies to core business. As the cases grind and more of the same expected next year which could cost the bank up to $9 billion, BAC is seen paying close attention to wealth management and this is believed to be one if the strength areas which the company is exploiting to make up for the financial losses it has incurred.

BAC in last four quarters

Tracing Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC) from fiscal 2012 fourth quarter to the fiscal 2013 third quarter reveals that the bank has seen improving earnings and mixed revenue figures. Investors have however had mixed sentiments on the stock over the four-quarter duration.

However, what is not in dispute is that, compared to its peers JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), Citigroup (NYSE:C) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), BAC is the performance leader year to-date. In fact, the bank’s performance at 44.09 percent YTD outshines the sector performance at 37.69 percent.

Conclusion

Relative to its peers, Bank of America Corp. (NYSE:BAC) is the performance leader in the past 12 months. The stock looks poised to outperform the market if this trend is continued and even more energy is brought in. Furthermore, the bank’s growing interest in wealth management is seen as a healthy investment which should leverage its performance in the upcoming quarters. Getting over its current legal issues will also allow the bank the freedom it needs to solidify its financial position.

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