Wells Fargo Q3 Earnings Up 32%; Lease Financing, C&I Loan Yields Higher

Wells Fargo reported Q3/18 net income of $6.01 billion, up 32% from $4.54 billion for the same quarter a year earlier. Total revenue of $21.94 billion was up 2% from $21.85 billion in Q3/17.

The following highlights were excerpted from the Wells Fargo news release:

  • The lease financing average balance for the nine month period ended September 30, 2018 was $19.35 billion, up from $19.09 billion for the same period one year earlier. The average yield of 4.82% compared to 4.78% a year earlier. Interest income of $700 million was up from $684 million for the same nine month period in 2017.
  • The U.S. C&I loan average balance of $273.7 billion for the nine month period ended September 2018 compared to $272.6 billion a year earlier. The average yield of 4.08% was up 38 bps from 3.70% in 2017. Interest income of $8.35 billion was up from $7.55 billion a year earlier.
  • The non-U.S. C&I average balance of $60.27 billion for the first nine months of 2018 was up 6.65% from $56.51 billion for the same period in 2017. The average yield of 3.46% compared to 2.83% for the same nine months in 2017. Interest income for the period of $1.56 billion was up 30.2% from $1.197 billion a year earlier.

“In the third quarter, we continued to make progress in our efforts to build a better Wells Fargo with a specific focus on our six goals: risk management, customer service, team member engagement, innovation, corporate citizenship and shareholder value,” said CEO Tim Sloan. “We are strengthening how we manage risk and have made enhancements to our risk management framework. We also continued to make progress on customer remediation, which is an important step in our efforts to rebuild trust.

“In addition, to better serve our customers and help them succeed financially, we launched Control Tower, a digital experience that simplifies our customers’ online financial lives, and our new Propel Card, one of the richest no-annual-fee credit cards in the industry. Furthermore, our ongoing efforts in corporate citizenship and building stronger communities were recognized in a recent survey on corporate giving by the Chronicle of Philanthropy, which ranked the Wells Fargo Foundation as the No.2 corporate cash giver in the U.S. Our focus on shareholder value included progress on our expense savings initiatives, and we returned a record $8.9 billion to shareholders through net common stock repurchases and dividends in the third quarter. I’m confident that our efforts to transform Wells Fargo position us for long-term success.”

Chief Financial Officer John Shrewsberry added, “Wells Fargo reported $6.0 billion of net income in the third quarter. Revenue increased and noninterest expense declined both linked quarter and year-over-year. Our positive operating leverage reflected the benefit of the transformational changes we are making at Wells Fargo, including our focus on reducing expenses. In addition, we saw positive business trends in the third quarter, including growth in primary consumer checking customers, increased debit and credit card usage, and higher year-over-year loan originations in auto, small business, home equity and personal loans and lines. Credit performance and capital levels remained strong. Our commitment to returning more capital to shareholders was demonstrated by an increase in net common share repurchases, which more than tripled from a year ago, and a higher common stock dividend.”

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