Wells Fargo is trading at $52.03. The stock is broadly unchanged since the company reported its second-quarter figures in July, when revenue and EPS came in at $21.29 billion and $1.01 respectively, both exceeding estimates. Wells Fargo is the largest provider of mortgages in the US but, in the recent quarter, mortgage division suffered a 46% decline in income, and mortgages for new homes dropped by two thirds — the lowest level since the credit crunch.
The bank is continuing to cut costs but it was the lower tax bill and boost in its equity investments that more than offset the drop in mortgage lending. This quarter, traders will be focused on the mortgage business. One-off items like the drop in the tax bill ensured the banks exceeded expectations but these are unlikely to reoccur.
Equity analysts are quietly bullish on the company. Out of the 35 recommendations, 17 are buys, 16 are holds and two are sells.
The stock reached record highs this year and is receiving support from the 50-week moving average of $48.55. If the figures are higher than expected, it could target $55, but if mortgages continue to be weak it could drop to $49.37.