Prudential Securities Inc. initiated coverage of Bank of America Corp. on Tuesday with a "hold" rating, expressing concern about the banking company's "giant size and overwhelming geographic reach" as well as its asset quality.

"If the balance sheet is the heart of a bank - well, this one needs a little diet and exercise," analyst Nancy A. Bush wrote in a report. Ms. Bush, who joined Prudential this year, said it is essential to include Bank of America on her coverage list of large-capitalization banks. "Bank of America will show us whether it is possible for a megabank to be profitable," she wrote.

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