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Wells Fargo Edges View; Shares Down

Wells Fargo Wednesday reported first-quarter earnings of $2.5 billion, or 45 cents a share, just ahead of Wall Street's consensus view, but shares were lower in premarket action.



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Wells Fargo

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Wednesday reported first-quarter earnings of $2.5 billion, or 45 cents a share.

The San Francisco-based bank said the latest results reflect the impact of integration expenses of $247 million, or 5 cents a share.

Revenue rose 2% year-over-year to $21.4 billion from $21 billion last year.

The average estimate of analysts polled by

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was for Wells Fargo to report earnings of 42 cents a share on revenue of $21.7 billion in the March period.

Net charge-offs fell $83 million quarter-over-quarter to $5.3 billion.

"We're encouraged by signs of improvement in the credit cycle, and by the savings and cross sell opportunities we're realizing as more Wachovia bank stores convert to Wells Fargo," said John Stumpf, the company's chairman and CEO, in a statement.

CFO Howard Atkins said the company believes credit costs have "turned the corner" at Wells Fargo, adding that: "Credit metrics in many portfolios- including loss rates and early indicators - performed better than our previous expectations for first quarter."

Wells Fargo shares closed Tuesday at $33.69, and are up nearly 25% year-to-date. The stock was falling in premarket action, however, following the release of the results, and it last quoted at down 1.7% at $33.13.


Written by Michael Baron in New York