Bank of America reported a net income of $3.2bn for the first quarter of 2010, compared with a net loss of $194m in the fourth quarter and net income of $4.2bn a year earlier.

After preferred dividends, Bank of America earned $0.28 per diluted share in the first quarter, up from a loss of $0.60 per share in the fourth quarter and earnings of $0.44 per share in the first quarter of 2009.

The factors that primarily drove results in the first quarter are provision for credit losses fell by $3.6bn from the year-ago period, reflecting an improvement in credit quality. Strong capital markets activity, including record sales and trading driven by corporate and investment banking positions, helped drive results for global banking and markets

Revenue net of interest expense on a fully taxable-equivalent (FTE) basis declined 11% to $32.3bn from $36.1b a year ago. Revenue declines were driven by the absence of year-earlier credit-related gains on Merrill Lynch structured notes, the sale of an equity investment and lower mortgage banking volume and income.

Net interest income on an FTE basis was $14.1bn, compared with $12.8bn a year earlier. On a managed FTE basis, net interest income declined from $15.6bn a year earlier as loan demand decreased and charge-offs reduced loan balances.

Noninterest income declined 22% to $18.2bn from $23.3bn a year ago. Lower mortgage banking income and decreases in both card income and equity investment income drove the decline. Mortgage banking income declined, driven by less favorable mortgage servicing rights hedging results and lower production volume and margins.

Noninterest expense increased 5% to $17.8bn from $17bn a year earlier as personnel costs and other general operating expenses rose. Pretax merger and restructuring charges declined to $521mn from $765mn a year earlier.

Brian Moynihan, CEO and president of Bank of America, said: “With each day that passes, the 2010 story appears to be one of continuing credit recovery, and our results reflect a gradually improving economy. Our customers – individuals, companies, and institutional investors – increasingly see the value of our integrated capabilities. We also are seeing ample indications that those integrated capabilities hold promise for long-term shareholder value.

“We will continue to support our customers through these and other initiatives aimed at helping restore their financial health. We want to ensure quality relationships with our customers and earn their trust and future business. This will benefit not just our customers, but our company and our shareholders.”