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ank of America reported a sharp rise in third-quarter earnings on Wednesday, but its mortgage operations faltered, underscoring that home loans remain a challenging business for the nation’s banks.
Bank of America said its quarterly profit rose to $2.5 billion, or 20 cents a share, from $340 million in the period a year earlier, when the bank was hit by litigation expenses and other charges.

Excluding a type of financial charge that investors often ignore, third-quarter revenue f
ell slightly, to $22.2 billion, from $22.5 billion in the period a year earlier. Other large banks have also reported a decline in their top lines, an indication that, five years after the financial crisis, they are still struggling to expand their businesses.
Analysts expected the company to earn 19 cents a share in the latest quarter. Bruce Thompson, Bank of America’s chief financial officer, said on Wednesday that it was fair to compare the estimates to the 20 cents a share that the bank reported.
“We made very good progress in an environment that did have its challenges,” Mr. Thompson said.
Bank of America’s wealth management operations, which contain Merrill Lynch, were a source of strength, posting $719 million of net income, a 26 percent jump from a year earlier.

The giant money management firm BlackRock is now managing a record $4 trillion after customers put more money into its stock mutual funds and exchange traded funds.
The flow of new money helped push BlackRock’s third-quarter profit up 14 percent from the period a year earlier. The company said net income in quarter rose to $730 million, or $4.21 a share, from $642 million, or $3.66 cents a share, in the third quarter of 2012. The results were roughly in line with the expectations of analysts polled by Bloomberg News.But BlackRock’s results were less impressive when compared with the second quarter of the year, as net income and revenue fell slightly. But the company attracted new money from its customers to a number of its product lines.
The iShares exchange trade funds, among the company’s fastest growing parts, drew in $20 billion, and $8 billion came into its retail funds. That was offset by the nearly $11 billion that big institutions took out of active and indexed stock funds. Overall inflows were $25.2 billion.
The company’s chief executive, Laurence D. Fink, said in a statement that the growth came despite the hesitation investors have had in putting new money to work, given all the uncertainty out of Washington.