NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Wells Fargo (WFC) were higher in late morning trading on Thursday, as the post-election rally of bank stocks continues. The higher stock price is in spite of the bank reporting dramatic year-over-year declines in its October retail banking activity report, released earlier today.
New customer accounts were down by 44% year-over-year, while new credit card applications dropped by 50% vs. a year ago. The bank is dealing with the ongoing impact of its accounts scandal in which some of its employees created fake accounts for existing customers in order to meet aggressive sales goals.
"The legacy business is so strong that any given single month won't matter," TheStreet's Jim Cramer said on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street" this morning.
The bank may release "a series of numbers" that will be "more difficult," but if the Fed hikes rates in December, then we'll look at these numbers and say, "Who cares?" he noted. People won't want to hear about "those stinkin' accounts."
"Let's face it, if [Fed Chair] Janet Yellen talks about rate hikes, the stock you want to reach for other than Bank of America (BAC) would be Wells Fargo," Cramer claimed.
Yellen is speaking to Congress this morning and said an increase in interest rates would be "appropriate relatively soon."
In addition, people will forget about the scandal in 12 to 18 months, Cramer pointed out. "The American people forget, but it takes time for them to forget."
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Separately, TheStreet Ratings objectively rated this stock according to its "risk-adjusted" total return prospect over a 12-month investment horizon. Not based on the news in any given day, the rating may differ from Jim Cramer's view or that of this articles's author.
TheStreet Ratings team rates Wells Fargo as a Buy with a ratings score of B. This is driven by multiple strengths, which the team believes should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks the team covers.
You can view the full analysis from the report here: WFCWFC data by YCharts