By Ben Eisen 

Wells Fargo & Co. said earnings soared in the first three months of the year.

The San Francisco-based lender on Wednesday posted a profit of $4.74 billion for the first quarter, up from $653 million a year earlier. A year ago, Wells Fargo and other big banks set aside billions of dollars to prepare for a coronavirus recession, hammering their profits at the time.

Per-share earnings were $1.05, beating the 71 cents forecast in a FactSet poll of analysts.

Wells Fargo said it had revenue of $18.06 billion, up 2% from $17.72 billion a year earlier. That beat the $17.52 billion expected by analysts.

Wells Fargo's sevenfold rise in profits came during what is shaping up to be an economic resurgence. That has prompted banks to release some of the money they stowed away last year to protect against soured loans, which has boosted their bottom lines.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. both reported sharply higher first-quarter profits on Wednesday.

The buoyant economy has been a boost for bank investors, lifting shares of the largest lenders far more than the broader market so far this year. Wells Fargo, a laggard last year, has been among the biggest gainers this year, rising 32% so far in 2021. In premarket trading on Wednesday, shares rose slightly.

Write to Ben Eisen at


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

April 14, 2021 08:47 ET (12:47 GMT)

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