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Wells Fargo Posts Record Profits

October 19, 1999

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) _ Wells Fargo & Company reported Tuesday a 30 percent increase in third-quarter profits as the banking and investment company continued to combine systems following its merger with Norwest Corp.

Wells Fargo, the nation’s seventh-largest bank, posted net income of $962 million, or 57 cents a share, matching analysts’ estimate. The San Francisco-based bank earned $742 million or 45 cents a share for the same quarter last year.

President and CEO Dick Kovacevich credits the successful merger of Norwest and Wells Fargo for the earnings momentum his company has seen for the third consecutive quarter.

``Because we’re combining the best of both systems, we believe this is the most complex conversion in banking history,″ Kovacevich said. ``We intend also to make it the most successful.″

Wells Fargo and Norwest completed their merger in November 1998, creating a company with $196 billion in assets, 15 million customers and 5,836 stores.

Investors liked the results and sent Wells Fargo’s shares up $1.93 3/4 to $41.43 in late afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Net interest income was $2.4 billion in the third quarter of 1999, compared with $2.28 billion for the same quarter a year ago.

Noninterest income in the third quarter of 1999 was $1.81 billion, a 12 percent increase from $1.62 billion in the year-ago period. Wells Fargo said higher mortgage serving fees, investment fees and commissions and venture capital gains.

Earnings for the first nine months of 1999 were a record $2.8 billion, a 30 percent increase over the same period last year.

Net interest income totaled $7 billion vs. $6.7 billion. Noninterest income rose 10 percent to $5.35 billion from $4.87 billion in the first nine months of last year.

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