In the second quarter, Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) announced that its streak of record quarterly earnings officially stopped after nearly four years. But a dive beneath the surface reveals a much brighter picture than just a glance at headlines may lead you to believe.
Continued improvement from its Wealth, Brokerage, and Retirement Business
Wells Fargo has continually campaigned and pushed for further development in its asset management business, and the second quarter marked another impressive trend of growth. During the last year, it saw its net income jump 25%; even from the first quarter of 2014 to the second quarter, it rose by 15%.
This was the result of a number of reasons, as its loans rose by 12% to stand at $51 billion. In addition, thanks to broader market performance, and also net inflows of assets, its retail brokerage business -- the largest segment of its $1.6 trillion in assets under management -- saw its managed account assets rise by 24%, to stand at $409 billion.
Cross-sell continuously rises
Banks everywhere have talked about the need to cross-sell a variety of offerings to their customers and, once again, Wells Fargo delivered improvements across all three of its major businesses.
The most impressive gain was in its Wholesale Banking unit, and Wells Fargo noted this was "driven by new product sales to existing customers." Although this may not move the needle in big ways quarter over quarter, continued growth in this critical area will not only strengthen relationships, but also drive profits.
Continued expansion of secondary businesses
Wells Fargo has also impressively added loans to its portfolio of secondary products that are expanding quite quickly. Both its automobile and credit card loans grew by more than 10%, rising $5.5 billion and $2.4 billion, respectively. Although these two types of loans represent just 20% of the total loans in its consumer business, the reality is, this impressive growth will continue to expand its earnings capabilities into the future.
More households calling it home
Speaking of its Community Banking business and the relationships contained therein, not only did its credit card loans rise, but it also noted 39% of its retail banking customers now have credit cards with it, up from 34.9% in the second quarter of 2013, and 38% in the first quarter.
In addition, customers who actively use their Wells Fargo checking account for things like debit card purchases, online bill payments, and direct deposits, rose by 4.6%. While this growth slowed slightly from the 5.1% expansion seen in the first quarter, it is still well ahead of the 3.5% logged in the second quarter of last year.
All of this says that Wells Fargo has clearly done an impressive job at expanding the relationships it has with its existing customers, as well as adding news ones.
Par for the course
The last thing investors may have missed is that, through the first six months of this year, Wells Fargo continued to consistently plug along when it came to the bottom-line results in the three most cited -- and most essential -- profit metrics:
All too often, we can get distracted into thinking a quarter here or a quarter there should change our investing decision. But the reality is, Wells Fargo has continuously delivered impressive results, and the first half of this year is no exception.