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Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wells Fargo: No Need for More TARP Funds

NEW YORK ( -- Wells Fargo reported a $2.6 billion fourth-quarter loss Wednesday, hurt by its acquisition of Wachovia and rising credit costs. But excluding a host of charges, many of them related to the merger, earnings beat Wall Street estimates.

The San Francisco-based bank posted a loss of 79 cents a share, down from $1.36 billion, or 41 cents a share, during the same period a year ago. Excluding the numerous charges, the company would have reported a profit of 41 cents. That topped consensus estimates of 33 cents per share on that basis

Wells Fargo chief financial officer Howard Atkins said in statement that a big addition to the company's credit reserves, as well as a $3.9 billion provision related to its purchase of Wachovia, were the main reasons for the quarterly loss. He called the loss "disappointing."

But the company also revealed Wednesday that it would not cut its dividend and added that it had no plans to ask for additional government capital, after receiving $25 billion last year.

Wells Fargo (WFC, Fortune 500) shares, which have lost 45% of their value so far this year, soared on the news, gaining over 18% in pre-market trading. To top of page