Wells Fargo reports record profit from refinances


SAN FRANCISCO — Wells Fargo & Co., the largest U.S. home lender, reported a 24 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit as the bank made more money from mortgage banking and squeezed more income out of revenue.

Net income advanced to a record $5.09 billion, or 91 cents a share, from $4.11 billion, or 73 cents, a year earlier, the San Francisco-based bank said today in a statement. That beat the 89-cent average estimate of 27 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg, some of whom were excluding one-time costs tied to a regulatory settlement.

Chief Executive Officer John Stumpf, 59, has expanded in mortgages, where Wells Fargo originated nearly 1 in 3 as of September and used the biggest U.S. branch network to challenge JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s status as the most profitable bank. Wells Fargo, the U.S. market value leader, used deposits to lower its cost of funding and counter meager loan and security yields.


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