Financial Performance

Wells Fargo Profit Jumps 20%, Beats Estimates

The bank's shares fell 3% as net interest income dropped and it warned that 2019 expenses will be near the high end of its target.
Matthew HellerJuly 16, 2019

Wells Fargo beat quarterly earnings estimates but its stock fell as the bank reported a decline in net interest income and warned that 2019 expenses would be at the high end of its target.

For the second quarter, Wells Fargo, which has been seeking to rebound from its fake-accounts scandal, earned $1.30 per share on revenue of $21.58 billion. Analysts had expected earnings of $1.15 per share on revenue of $20.93 billion.

Net income rose 20% to $6.2 billion.

Drive Business Strategy and Growth

Drive Business Strategy and Growth

Learn how NetSuite Financial Management allows you to quickly and easily model what-if scenarios and generate reports.

The bank’s bottom line continued to benefit from cost-cutting as noninterest expenses declined 4% from a year ago. It also repurchased $4.9 billion of stock during the quarter alone, shrinking share count by 9%.

“In second quarter 2019, we recorded strong earnings and continued to make progress on our top priorities: focusing on our customers and team members; meeting the expectations of our regulators; and continuing the important transformation of our company,” Interim CEO Allen Parker said in a news release.

But in trading Tuesday, Wells Fargo’s shares slid 3% to $45.29 after CFO John Shrewsberry said full-year expenses will be near the high end of its target, disappointing shareholders who have urged the bank to get costs in check.

“Our expenses are too high,” he said during an earnings call.

CNBC reported that Wells Fargo’s results “also demonstrate pressure on bank profits caused by swings in interest rates and the sharp pivot by the Federal Reserve.” Net interest income, the gap between what banks make on loans and what they pay on deposits, fell $216 million from the first quarter to $12.1 billion. The bank’s net interest margin declined 9 basis points to $2.82%.

The drop in net interest income was “driven by balance sheet mix and repricing, including the impacts of higher deposit costs and the lower interest rate environment,” Wells Fargo said.

Despite the controversy from the fake-accounts scandal, Wells Fargo’s average consumer deposits increased to $778 billion, reflecting increased promotional activity. The number of primary consumer checking customers rose 1%, marking the seventh consecutive quarter of growth.