Bank of America Earns $1.19 a Share in Fourth Quarter

A rise in credit card fees helped Bank of America report Tuesday a fourth-quarter rise in profit which also beat analysts' expectations.

Bank of America said it earned $5.5 billion, or $1.19 a share, excluding charges, in the fourth quarter. That was up from $3.63 billion, or 89 cents a share, excluding charges, in the same quarter of 2005.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial predicted a profit of $1.18 a share, excluding charges.

Revenues rose 34% from the year-ago period to $18.82 billion, topping the consensus estimate of $18.1 billion.

The Charlotte-based bank, with about $1.5 trillion in assets, agreed in November to acquire U.S. Trust, a New York private bank, from Charles Schwab for $3.3 billion in cash. At the beginning of last year, Bank of America became the nation's largest credit card issuer when it completed its $35 billion acquisition of MBNA.

The bank will host a webcast to discuss results at 9:30 am New York time.