New products offset mortgage slowdown

Article Excerpt

WELLS FARGO & CO. $66 (New York symbol WFC; WSSF Rating: Average) earned a record $1.19 a share in the first three months of 2006, up 10.2% from $1.08 a year earlier, partly due to a 26% drop in loan loss provisions. The latest per-share earnings included a $0.02 charge for employee stock options. Revenue rose 6.2%, to $8.6 billion from $8.1 billion. Revenue from home mortgages in the latest quarter fell 44% due to higher interest rates. However, thanks to Wells Fargo’s recent expansion of its branch network and acquisitions, it now has a wider range of services to offer its customers. In fact, Wells Fargo now sells around five different products, including deposit accounts and non-mortgage loans, to households where it has a least one customer. That’s up from four products per household five years ago. Wells Fargo is a buy. buy…

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