Firmwide investment banking fees increased 9 percent to $1.7 billion as companies around the world took advantage of record high stock prices to raise equity capital.
Total issues rose 50 percent in quarter from the same period a year earlier, making it the strongest quarter for equity capital raising since the fourth quarter of 2010, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Equity trading revenue rose 27 percent to $904 million from a year earlier.
Bond trading revenue rose 16 percent to $2.1 billion as stronger results in credit and mortgage products more than offset weakness in rates and commodities, Bank of America said.
Wealth business thrives
Bank of America's global wealth and investment management business reported record net income and asset management fees.
Net income rose 35 percent to $777 million, while revenue increased 7 percent to $4.5 billion, driven by higher noninterest income related to long-term flows of assets under management and strong markets.
However, the end of the mortgage refinancing boom hit Bank of America's consumer real estate services business.
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The Charlotte, N.C., bank made $13.5 billion in home loans, down from the $22.6 billion in the third quarter and $21.5 billion in the year-earlier quarter. Core production revenue more than halved to $403 million.
Bank of America's net interest margin, a measure of the profitability of its loans, rose to 2.46 percent, up from 2.35 a year earlier and 2.44 in the third quarter.
Litigation expenses rose to $2.3 billion from $1.1 billion in the third quarter and $2.0 billion a year earlier.
The bank has already agreed to pay in excess of $45 billion to settle disputes stemming from the 2008 financial crisis.
After the earnings announcement, the company's shares rose in premarket trading. (Click here to track the company's stock following the report.)