SAN FRANCISCO (CBS/AP) — Wells Fargo said its first-quarter profit jumped 13 percent on strong mortgage lending and a drop in delinquent loans.

Net income available to common shareholders jumped to $4.02 billion from $3.57 billion a year ago. On a per-share basis, earnings were 75 cents, beating the 73 cents expected by analysts polled by FactSet. The bank also beat on revenue, bringing in $21.6 billion instead of the predicted $20.4 billion.

The percentage of loans that the bank charged off, meaning it doesn’t expect to collect on them, dropped to 1.25 percent, the lowest since 2007, before the financial crisis imploded.

However, the bank’s net-interest margin, which measures its profitability in lending, fell slightly from a year ago, to 3.91 percent from 4.05 percent. Shares are falling in pre-market trading.



(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)



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