Daily News: April 13, 2012

Wells Fargo Reports Record Earnings, Credit Quality Improvement

Wells Fargo reported record net income of $4.2 billion for first quarter 2012, compared with $3.8 billion for first quarter 2011 and $4.1 billion for fourth quarter 2011.

Wells Fargo said net charge-offs were $2.4 billion, a decline of $245 million from the prior quarter and, on an annualized basis, the charge-off rate reached its lowest level since 2007. The bank noted that its reserve release of $400 million reflected improved portfolio performance.

“Wells Fargo delivered outstanding first quarter results driven by strong revenue growth. Quarterly revenue was the highest in nine quarters, and we achieved our ninth consecutive quarter of earnings per share growth,” said chairman and CEO John Stumpf.

“Credit quality continued to improve in the first quarter,” said chief risk officer Mike Loughlin. “We have seen significant improvement in credit performance over the past two years, and expect continued but slower improvement this year as losses approach a stable, more normalized level,” said Loughlin. “Absent significant deterioration in the economy, we continue to expect future reserve releases in 2012.”

To read the full Wells Fargo quarterly earnings news release, click here.