Memo From BofA’s Lewis: Rough Week for Stock, Good Week for Business

Discussion in 'Stocks' started by ASusilovic, Feb 22, 2009.

  1. Bank of America’s shares hit an intraday low of $3.19 a share today, a level not seen since August 2, 1984, when the bank traded at $3.17 a share. Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis is having his own difficulties over his bank’s acquisition of Merrill Lynch. It must be time for some morale building, and to that effect, here is a memo Lewis sent out to his staff today:

    Rough week for stock, good week for business

    To my teammates:

    Public debate on the subject of potentially nationalizing some banks continues to put great pressure on our stock. And yet, our company continues to be profitable. I see no reason why a company that is profitable, with capital and liquidity levels that are very strong, and that continues to lend actively, should be considered for nationalization. Speculation about nationalization is based on a lack of understanding of our bank’s financial position as well as a lack of appreciation for the adverse ramifications for our customers and the economy.

    Bank of America does not need any further assistance today, and I am confident we will not need any further assistance in the future. I believe our company has more than enough capital, liquidity and earnings power to make it through this downturn on our own from here on out.

    There is no question that the recession is continuing to worsen and that rising credit costs will continue to put great pressure on our ability to generate earnings. But here’s the good news: Your hard work is producing results in businesses all across the company.

    While I can’t divulge any specific financial results mid-quarter, I can tell you that activity in our trading business continues to be vastly improved over last quarter. The corporate debt markets are showing some signs of thawing in both high yield and high grade, and we’re already seeing some benefits in the market of our combination with Merrill Lynch, in terms of winning mandates to raise capital for new and existing clients. And Merrill Lynch Financial Advisors posted nearly a half billion dollars in CD sales in the first four weeks these products were available to their clients.