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Wells Fargo’s 2Q Profit Up 12 Perc.

July 18, 2000

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Wells Fargo & Co.’s second-quarter profits rose 12 percent as the bank’s push to sell more products to its customers continued to pay off.

The San Francisco-based financial services company said Tuesday it earned $1.04 billion, or 63 cents per share, in the three months ended June 30, up from $931 million, or 55 cents per share, in the year-ago period. The results matched the consensus of analysts polled by First Call/Thomson Financial.

On Tuesday, shares of Wells Fargo, the nation’s seventh-largest bank with about $234 billion in assets, were down $1.312 to close at $42.063 on the New York Stock Exchange.

Wells Fargo’s second-quarter revenue of $4.56 billion was up 11 percent from the year-ago period of $4.13 billion, realizing a goal of double-digit growth set by a new management team in 1998 after the bank was purchased by Norwest Corp.

Norwest subsequently adopted Wells’ name and moved its headquarters from Minneapolis to San Francisco.

In the months leading up to the takeover, Wells had been struggling to build its business after a customer backlash to its 1995 merger with First Interstate Bank.

Through the first six months of the year, Wells earned $2.05 billion, a 13 percent increase from 1999′s $1.82 billion. Revenue for the same period jumped 10 percent, rising from $8.12 billion to $8.91 billion.

Wells attributed the revenue gains to successful efforts to sell more products to existing customers as well as healthy growth in its loan portfolio.

The bank also continued to sign up more customers to its fast-growing online division. As of June 30, about 2 million Wells customers had signed up for the bank’s Internet service, double the total at the same point in 1999.

The bank also said that it expects to meet analysts’ expectations of $2.91 per share for all of 2000, though earnings per share would be reduced by 6 cents because of accounting changes related to 20 acquisitions made during the past two years.

Wells completed its latest acquisition, National Bancorp of Alaska, last week and expects to complete its acquisition of Utah-based First Security Corp. by the end of the year.

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