Earns Bank Of America (This photo taken Friday, Oct. 14, 2011, shows customers in line a  Bank of America ATM in Hialeah, Fla. B
Alan Diaz/AP
WASHINGTON -- Bank of America Corp. says its third-quarter profit surged as it saw increases from investments and interest charged on loans.

The second-largest U.S. bank reported Wednesday that it earned $2.5 billion in the July-September period, up from $340 million a year earlier. On a per-share basis, earnings were 20 cents, beating the 19 cents expected by financial analysts.

Bank of America (BAC) has been slimming down and cutting jobs since CEO Brian Moynihan took over in early 2010. The strategy is meant to make the bank easier to manage and to reduce riskier businesses.

Third-quarter revenue slipped to $22.2 billion from $22.5 billion.

The bank, based in Charlotte, N.C., said it cut expenses by about $1 billion from a year earlier, to $16.4 billion. Bank of America cut 24,651 full-time jobs in the third quarter.

Bank of America said it had strong growth in lending in the third quarter as well as improved quality of outstanding loans and high deposit balances. The amount set aside for potential losses on loans dropped sharply to $296 million from $1.8 billion a year earlier.


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