Wells Fargo Gets a Housing Bump
Updated to reflect Stifel Financial comments and updated share prices
However, a larger than expected drop in the bank's interest rate-based earnings pushed shares sharply lower in early trading and cloud the bank's outlook.
While mortgage lending continued to add loans, adding $11.9 billion in core loans during the quarter, the bank reported new pressure to interest rate-based earnings, which fell as margins were pressured. Interest margins fell by 25 basis points, a larger amount than the 17 basis point drop chief financial officer Tim Sloan forecast in September.
Overall, the San Francisco- based lender reported third quarter earnings of $4.94 billion or 88 cents a share, beating estimates of 87 cents, according to analyst forecasts compiled by Bloomberg. Revenue came in at 21.2 billion, slightly beating estimates of $20.9 billion.
For Wells Fargo investors, falling interest margins may prove a worrying sign for the bank's 2013 earnings; however, onlookers reading into a housing market rebound may take solace in the bank's continued loan growth.
"In the third quarter, core loans grew by $11.9 billion and we saw continued strength in our mortgage and deposit businesses," John Stumpf, chief executive of Wells Fargo said in a statement released with earnings. The bank's commentary was mixed between positive language on the housing market and banking industry specific headwinds like falling interest rates.
"While the economic and interest rate environments continue to present challenges for us and our industry, our diversified model and focus on our customers continued to produce strong quarterly results," noted CFO Sloan, in the earnings release.
In early Friday trading Wells Fargo shares fell over 3% to $33.98, on concerns over a bigger than expected drop in interest margins.