Bank of America reports first quarter loss of $276 million

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NEW YORK — Bank of America reported a quarterly loss Wednesday as legal costs hit the bank’s bottom line.

The nation’s second largest bank by assets reported a net loss of $276 million, or five cents per share, in the first three months of 2014. The company earned 10 cents per share in the same quarter last year.

The loss reflects $6 billion in litigation expenses tied to Bank of America’s recent settlement with the Federal Housing Finance Agency over mortgage-backed securities.

The bank announced the $9.5 billion settlement in March.

Excluding those charges, which totaled 40 cents a share, Bank of America earned 35 cents per share. That topped analysts’ expectations for earnings of 26 cents per share, according to FactSet.

Bank of America shares fell in premarket trading.

The results came amid a mixed quarter for the banking industry. JPMorgan’s earnings disappointed investors last week, but investors cheered results from Citigroup and Wells Fargo. Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley will report later this week.

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