Wells Fargo’s Q1 Profit Falls

The banking giant was forced to add $200 million to loan-loss reserves as its oil and gas portfolio deteriorated.
Katie Kuehner-HebertApril 14, 2016

Wells Fargo posted lower profit for the first quarter, as its stressed oil and gas portfolio pushed its loan-loss reserves higher. Still, the San Francisco-based company beat analysts’ expectations due in part to higher demand for consumer loans, particularly credit cards.

Net income fell 6% year-over-year to $5.46 billion, as the company added $200 million to its loan-loss reserves due to continued deterioration within its oil and gas portfolio.

However, revenue rose 4% to $22.2 billion on higher revenues from consumer lending, beating analysts estimates of $21.5 billion. In particular, credit card purchase volume spiked 13% to $17.5 billion.

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Earnings per share of 99 cents beat the consensus estimate of 98 cents by the analysts who were polled by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

“Wells Fargo’s first quarter results reflected the benefit of our diversified business model as we managed challenges presented by a volatile operating environment for our industry,” the bank’s chief executive John Stumpf said in a press release. “We again generated solid growth in the fundamental drivers of long-term value creation: loans, deposits, and capital.”

Wells Fargo, like other financial services companies, is benefitting from an improving labor market as more consumers take out car loans, credit cards, and other consumer loans, according to USA Today.

“But the bank’s bottom line also reminded investors that its loans to oil and gas companies, which are struggling to stay afloat amid low energy prices, continue to be a precarious spot in its business,” USA Today wrote.

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