Wells Fargo's earnings edge up as revenue rises

Wells Fargo profits up, meets Wall Street expectatoins

Wells Fargo & Co. reported a slightly higher fourth-quarter profit as the country's biggest mortgage lender generated more income from interest payments.

Quarterly net income rose to $5.38 billion from $5.37 billion a year earlier, the San Francisco-based bank said Wednesday. That's after taking out dividends for preferred stock. On a per-share basis, adjusted earnings worked out to $1.02.

The earnings results matched Wall Street's expectations, according to the data provider FactSet.

Revenue rose 4% to $21.44 billion in the three months ending in December, which narrowly topped forecasts. Analysts expected $21.24 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

In a statement accompanying the results, John Shrewsberry, the bank's chief financial officer, said making more loans helped boost revenue. Total loans rose 5% to $862.55 billion.

For all of 2014, Wells Fargo's adjusted earnings climbed 4% to $21.82 billion, while revenue crept up 1% to $84.35 billion.

Shares in Wells Fargo sank $1.15, or 2%, to $50.70, in off-hours trading. But Wells Fargo's stock has been on a tear, climbing 14% over the year. That's better than the Standard & Poor's 500 index's gain of 10% over the same stretch. Ranked by market value, Wells Fargo is now the biggest U.S. bank.

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