Industry News

Wells Fargo posts record profits, revenue in 2006

Fourth-quarter mortgage originations lowest for the year

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Wells Fargo & Co. posted record revenue and profits in 2006, despite a slowdown in the growth of its mortgage lending business. Wells Fargo reported Tuesday that fourth-quarter profits were up 13 percent from last year, to $2.18 billion, or 64 cents per share. Profits for the year were up 11 percent to $8.48 billion, on record-setting revenue of $35.7 billion. That's despite a $704 million drop in annual revenue from residential mortgage lending, to $4.2 billion. Mortgage lending generated $1 billion in revenue in the fourth quarter, down $116 million from the same time a year earlier. "Virtually every major business line other than Home Mortgage generated double-digit revenue growth," the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. One reason for the decline was that Wells Fargo took a $250 million loss on the sale of $26 billion in adjustable-rate mortgages and other loans in the second quarter. The bank said at the time that the sale was undertak...