Wells Fargo Posts Weaker Earnings

By Emily Glazer Features Dow Jones Newswires

Wells Fargo & Co. said its third-quarter profit fell as the bank continues to seek growth while trying to move past its sales-practices scandal from more than a year ago.

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The bank reported a profit of $4.6 billion, or 84 cents a share, which includes a charge of $1 billion, or 20 cents a share, for previously disclosed mortgage-related regulatory investigations. In the year-ago period, the bank reported earnings of $5.64 billion, or $1.03 a share.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected earnings of $1.03 a share in the latest period.

Revenue slipped to $21.93 billion from $22.33 billion. Analysts had expected $22.4 billion.

Wells Fargo, led by Chief Executive Timothy Sloan, had been one of the more consistent big banks at growing earnings and revenue. Shares, though, dropped last year after the bank agreed to a $185 million settlement over opening accounts with fictitious or unauthorized information. It recently updated the number of potentially affected accounts to 3.5 million.

That is on top of consumer-lending problems around auto insurance charges and mortgage fees that regulators are probing. Mr. Sloan testified in a congressional hearing last week on those matters.

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Wells Fargo also continues to face a spate of state and federal investigations that the bank has said it is cooperating with.

Investors have so far given Mr. Sloan time to clean up the problems, despite the fact the bank's shares have underperformed big rivals over the past year.

Though the bank's shares have bounced back following the election, rising about 21%, they have lagged behind the 32% jump in the KBW Nasdaq Bank Index over the same period. The bank's shares are about flat since the beginning of the year, through Thursday.

In premarket trading Friday, Wells Fargo shares fell 1.7% to $54.25.

Write to Emily Glazer at emily.glazer@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 13, 2017 08:26 ET (12:26 GMT)