Wells Fargo & Company (WFC)

WFC 
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Wells Fargo & Company (WFC)

F1Q09 Earnings Call Transcript

April 22, 2009 at 8:30 am ET

Executives

Bob Strickland - Director, Investor Relations

Presentations

Bob Strickland

For participating in the Wells Fargo first quarter 2009 earnings review pre-recorded call.

Before we discuss our first quarter results, we need to make the standard securities law disclosure. In this call we will make forward-looking statements about specific income statement and balance sheet items and other measures of our future financial results and condition, including statements about future loss content of and cash flows from the legacy Wachovia impaired loan portfolios, expected credit losses and credit performance generally and in specific loan portfolios, the adequacy of our allowance for credit losses, future levels of non-performing assets, future levels of capital, the timing and amount of expected cost savings related to the Wachovia merger and other initiatives, and our ability to generate revenue growth and earnings.

Forward-looking statements give our expectations and they are not guarantees of future performance. They speak only as of the date they are made and we do not undertake to update them to reflect changes that occur after that date.

Actual results may differ significantly from expectations due to a number of factors, including the continued accuracy of our estimates used to determine purchase accounting adjustments on Wachovia’s loan portfolio and other assets.

There is no assurance that our allowance for credit losses will be adequate to cover future credit losses especially if credit markets and unemployment do not stabilize. For discussion of factors that may cause actual results to differ from expectations, refer to our SEC filings including the Form 8-K filed today which includes the press release announcing our first quarter results and our 2008 annual report on Form 10-K both available on the SEC’s website at sec.gov.

In this call, we will also discuss our tangible comment equity and tangible comment equity ratio. For more information about these measures including a reconciliation of tangible comment equity to total equity, refer to the tangible comment equity table in our first quarter earnings press release which is accessible on our website, wellsfargo.com, by clicking on About Us, then Investor Relations, then Quarterly Earnings. We have also posted on our website a first quarter 2009 credit supplement that provides performance information for specific loan portfolios.

I will now turn the call over to CFO, Howard Atkins.

Howard Atkins

Thanks Bob. I would like to focus my remarks on how Wells Fargo delivered such exceptional performance in our first full quarter as a New Wells Fargo despite the challenging environment.

First, let us start with all the important record results we achieved in the quarter. We earned record net income of $3.05 billion in the quarter. Profits were $767 million higher after tax than any previous quarter in our Company’s history. Profits of the quarter were a record even after $661 million in preferred dividends with net income available to common shareholders of $2.38 billion.

We earned $21 billion in combined revenue driven by 16% year-over-year growth at legacy Wells Fargo to record quarterly revenue of $12.3 billion. Our organic revenue growth this quarter was driven by the same Wells Fargo business model that has consistently produced near double digit revenue growth for at least the last decade.

The consistency of our revenue growth is also due to the fact that we did not participate in most of the problematic businesses and activities that have reduced the level and stability of revenue at many of our peers. As our peers are busy dealing with the problems from these activities and with replacing the loss revenue, we have been successfully gaining customers and market share that will add to revenue and earnings well into the future.

Pretax pre-provision profit of $9.2 billion was a record and exceeded net charge offs by nearly $6 billion, demonstrating Wells Fargo’s capacity to produce revenue net of expenses that provide a substantial earnings and capital cushion even if credit costs remain cyclically high.

Our Company continued to benefit from the very strong mortgage environment. We originated $101 billion of mortgage loans, our highest level since 2003, including a record application month of $83 billion in March. While low interest rates are stimulating mortgage demand, we are picking up mortgage market share. Our mortgage originations doubled in the first quarter from the prior quarter compared with an average increase of about half that among our large peers.

We generated record sales at legacy Wells Fargo, including record regional banking core product sales of $6.7 million up 17% and growth in consumer checking accounts up a net 6.8%. This sales performance helped produce record retail cross-sell of 5.8 products and wholesale cross-sell in 6.4 products in the first quarter at legacy Wells Fargo.

One of the reasons for acquiring Wachovia was to apply this cross-sell competency to Wachovia’s customer base in Wachovia’s footprint. Overall, we estimate that Wachovia’s cross-sell is currently roughly three quarters that of Wells Fargo.

The revenue synergies from increasing Wachovia’s cross-sell offered huge opportunities for future revenue and profit growth. Wachovia continued to lead the industry and service quality in the first quarter. In February, Wachovia was once again recognized by the American customer satisfaction index for being number one in customer service among large peers for the eighth-year in a row.

As we have said since the time of the merger announcement, this is an area where there is a great opportunity for Wells Fargo to leverage Wachovia’s proven expertise to better serve our customers throughout our franchise.

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