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Bank of America posts profit as fewer loans go bad

(Reuters) - Bank of America Corp reported a third-quarter profit of $2.22 billion, compared with a loss a year earlier, as provisions for credit losses and expenses fell.

The second-largest bank earned 20 cents per share in the three months to September 30, beating the average analyst estimate of 18 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

In the year-earlier quarter, the bank recorded a net loss attributable to common shareholders of $33 million due to accounting adjustments, litigation expenses and tax charges.

Bank of America's shares rose 1.7 percent to $14.48 in trading before the bell.

Total revenue fell marginally to $22.19 billion in the latest quarter from $22.53 billion a year earlier, excluding accounting adjustments.

The bank said on Wednesday its provisions for loan losses fell 83 percent to $296 million as credit conditions improved, while operating expenses dropped to $16.39 billion from $17.54 billion.

Sales and trading revenue for the bank's fixed income, currency and commodities business, excluding an accounting adjustment, fell by $501 million to $2.0 billion, due to lower bond-trading volumes for much of the quarter.

Fixed-income traders were inactive for several weeks leading up to the Federal Reserve's meeting in mid-September in the expectation that the central bank would announce a winding down of its stimulatory bond-buying program.

"This quarter, we saw good loan growth, improved credit quality and record deposit balances," Chief Executive Brian Moynihan said in a statement.

Bank of America's shares have risen about 23 percent this year, in line with the KBW index of bank stocks.

Bank of America sold its remaining stake in China Construction Bank Corp for $1.47 billion in September, contributing $750 million pre-tax to the bottom line.

(Reporting by Anil D'Silva in Bangalore and Peter Rudegeair in New York; Editing by Ted Kerr)