Bank of America strikes balance between growth and efficiency
April 26, 2006, CHARLOTTE– Bank of America has achieved superior returns for shareholders by balancing its customer-focused and efficient operations with the ability and confidence to seize opportunities that position the company for future growth, Kenneth D. Lewis, chairman and chief executive officer, told attendees at the company’s annual meeting today.
“We have achieved a remarkable balance between the need to execute our business effectively for our customers and clients and produce strong returns for our shareholders today with the need to act boldly to stake our claim on the financial services landscape of tomorrow,” Lewis said. “In doing this, we have demonstrated our ability to grow the company in a number of ways: by winning more customers… by winning more business from our customers… and by investing in or acquiring companies to broaden and strengthen our position in the market.”
In 2005 Bank of America earned more than $16 billion to position the bank as the fifth-most profitable company in the world. With its Jan. 1 acquisition of MBNA, Bank of America now has a market capitalization of more than $215 billion, making the bank among the world’s ten most valuable companies. Chief Financial Officer Al de Molina emphasized how the bank overcame industry factors to achieve continued growth.
“Bank of America achieved record levels of revenue and earnings in 2005 in spite of an extremely challenging interest rate environment,” de Molina said. “This strong performance was a direct result of the hard work of our dedicated associates around the globe. On behalf of all of our shareholders, I want to thank them.”
De Molina also recounted Bank of America’s long-term return for shareholders. “Bank of America has a strong track record. From 2000 to 2005, revenue per share, a measure which roughly adjusts for acquisitions, has grown at a compound annual growth rate of 7 percent. Earnings per share have grown 12 percent annually and dividends reflect a 13 percent annual growth rate. The total return on our shares has grown an average 20 percent per year.”
All Bank of America director candidates were elected to the company’s board of directors. Shareholders also approved the ratification of independent public accountants. BAC shareholders rejected three shareholder proposals regarding (1) political contributions; (2) an independent board chairman and (3) the bank’s equal opportunity employment policy.
A proposal related to majority voting in director elections was approved. “We will carefully consider this proposal at an upcoming board meeting,” Lewis said in reaction to the shareholder vote.
Bank of America is one of the world’s largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk-management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving more than 54 million consumer and small business relationships with more than 5,700 retail banking offices, more than 16,700 ATMs and award-winning online banking with more than 19 million active users. Bank of America is the No. 1 overall Small Business Administration (SBA) lender in the United States and the No. 1 SBA lender to minority-owned small businesses. The company serves clients in 175 countries and has relationships with 98 percent of the U.S. Fortune 500 companies and 79 percent of the Global Fortune 500. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
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