SAN FRANCISCO (
blew away Wall Street's earnings expectations on Wednesday morning, but eked out just enough revenue to match forecasts.
In pre-market trading Wells Fargo shares were up 3.6% at $26.84.
The San Francisco-based banking giant reported net income of $3.1 billion, or 55 cents per share. The amount attributable to common shareholders was $2.9 billion. The result was either a 12% rise from the year-ago period, or a 3% decline, depending on which line item one prefers.
Either way, Wells beat estimates by a stretch, with an average analyst forecast of 48 cents per share, according to
Perhaps more importantly, Wells' revenue came in at $21.4 billion, precisely in line with the average Wall Street estimate. The top-line figure was down slightly from the previous quarter and $1 billion shy of the year-ago period, when the mortgage business was booming.
CFO Howard Atkins said management was "very pleased" with financial performance. Several business lines grew in double-digit percentages from the previous quarter, including commercial and corporate banking -- a key area that banks are now targeting -- as well as investment banking, an area where Wells has plenty of room to grow.
"While economic recovery in the U.S. and abroad remained uneven, Wells Fargo earned record net income," he pointed out.
CEO John Stumpf also commented on the financial reform bill, which has concerned investors even more after
Bank of America
outlined billions of dollars' worth of related costs last week. Stumpf wasn't as specific as Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan, but generally said Wells Fargo would manage through whatever results from the Dodd-Frank reform bill, which President Obama is signing into law on Wednesday.
We support the general principles inherent in the financial reform bill, as they are consistent with how Wells Fargo operates," he said in a statement. "We remain concerned that some aspects of regulatory reform may have unintended negative impacts for America's financial system, consumers and businesses."
-- Written by Lauren Tara LaCapra in New York
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