SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Wells Fargo experienced something it hasn’t in a while, a decline in profits.
First quarter earnings slipped 1.5-percent to $5.8-billion dollars, down from a record $5.9-billion a year earlier, and the first decline in four years for the country’s largest mortgage lender.
Revenue though rose 3.2-percent to $21.3-billion dollars, and while the numbers were in line with expectations, there is some worry among investors that Wells Fargo’s lending margins fell to 2.95-percent from 3.2-percent.
CEO John Stumpf during an earnings conference call redirects attention to credit cards, calling it one of the bank’s biggest opportunities, opening 729-thousand new accounts in the first quarter.
Wells is also the largest auto lender, but in the first quarter wrote $7.1-billion in loans, down ten percent from a year earlier.
WFC shares are falling mainly on the lending margin drop, the first time below 3% since the 1990’s, another impact from the Fed keeping the Federal Funds Rate at its record low.