Wells Fargo beats targets

WELLS Fargo yesterday beat Wall Street estimates with a 20 per cent increase in fourth-quarter profit, boosted by continued loan growth and improving credit quality.

America’s fourth biggest bank said net income in the fourth quarter was $3.89bn, compared with $3.23bn a year earlier. For all of 2011, Wells posted net income applicable to common shareholders of about $15bn, up from $11.6bn in 2010.

Reflecting a trend demonstrated on Friday by results at JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo’s loans grew about $9.5bn to $769.6bn in the quarter.