Dec. 8, 2014, 8:54 AM| Comment!
Dec. 5, 2014, 10:06 AM
- Among those counting on higher interest rates to boost profits are banks, insurers, and online brokers, and all are outliers to the upside in today's session after a strong November jobs report has rate hike expectations on the rise. The XLF is up 1%.
- TBTFs: Bank of America (BAC +2.1%), Citigroup (C +1.8%), JPMorgan (JPM +2.2%), Wells Fargo (WFC +1.2%)
- Regionals (KRE +1.9%): Regions Financial (RF +2.6%), KeyCorp (KEY +2.3%), Huntington (HBAN +1.5%), BB&T (BBT +1.6%), Zions (ZION +4%)
- Custodials: BNY Mellon (BNY), State Street (STT +1.6%), Northern Trust (NTRS +1.8%)
- Life insurers: MetLife (MET +2.1%), Prudential (PRU +2.5%), Lincoln National (LNC +2.3%)
- Online brokers: Schwab (SCHW +3.8%), E*Trade (ETFC +3%), Ameritrade (AMTD +2.7%)
- Previously: Short end of yield curve on the move after jobs number (Dec. 5, 2014)
- Previously: Bonds and dollar higher, gold slumps after strong jobs report (Dec. 5, 2014)
- ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, KRE, VFH, KBE, IYF, KIE, IAT, IAI, SEF, IYG, IAK, FXO, FNCL, KBWB, RKH, QABA, FINU, KRU, RWW, KBWR, RYF, KBWP, KBWI, PSCF, FINZ, KRS
Dec. 2, 2014, 3:42 PM
- "Our concern is that the market has become complacent on the setting of the SIFI surcharge for the mega banks, which means there may be surprise at just how onerous the surcharge could be for JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), Citigroup (NYSE:C), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS)," writes Guggenheim's Jaret Seiberg.
- The Fed is expected to announce the capital surcharge on December 9.
- Previously: U.S. banks to be hit with tougher capital rule
Nov. 29, 2014, 8:00 AM
- New guidelines - set to take full effect on December 1 - are the result of an agreement reached last month between banks and the GSEs meant to clarify exactly when lenders could be called to task for mortgages sold to Fannie Mae (OTCQB:FNMA) and Freddie Mac (OTCQB:FMCC) which ultimately default. Since the financial crisis, Fannie and Freddie have forced banks to repurchase billions of dollars worth of mortgages, leaving them naturally gun-shy about making new loans to all but the most pristine of credits.
- “It’s providing greater certainty for all the parties so that you can lend more confidently and make the whole judgment process much easier and more clear cut,” says Mike Heid, president of Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) Home Mortgage. Along with SunTrust (NYSE:STI), Wells says borrowers should begin to see initial changes - such as faster processing times, reduced credit score requirements, and greater leeway to those whose credit history suffered due to one-time events - in a few weeks.
- "We will be able to be looser and open up the net wider," says Mason-McDuffie Mortgage CEO Bill Godfrey, now expecting to make loans down to a 620 credit score from 660 previously.
- Not everyone agrees: “Unless we are convinced that the rules are going to be permanent and there is not going to be a look back or a reach back in future times…we are simply going to stay on the sidelines," U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB) boss Richard Davis has said, and Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) CEO Brian Moynihan made similar comments at a recent conference.
Nov. 18, 2014, 2:57 PM
- Wells Fargo (WFC -0.1%) has been beating or meeting earnings estimates for six quarters running, notes BMO, but "from lower-quality sources such as elevated market-sensitive revenues, an unusually low tax rate, and aggressive reserve releases, while core revenue trends have been under pressure."
- Wells Fargo deserves premium valuation to its big bank peers, says BMO, but a forward P-E ratio 10% higher than the rest - after having no premium as recently as April - is about the limit.
- BMO's downgrade follows Macquarie over the weekend reiterating its Underperform rating after also noting the bank's recent reliance on non-core earnings and its rich valuation.
- Previously: BMO no longer a bull on Wells Fargo
Nov. 18, 2014, 8:46 AM
Nov. 14, 2014, 7:34 AM
- Ocwen Financial's (NYSE:OCN) agreement to buy the MSRs on $39B UPB of mortgages from Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) was originally announced in January to the great excitement of Ocwen investors. Shortly after, however, Ben Lawsky held up the deal as his office examined the servicing practices at Ocwen, and its relationships with the Altisource companies.
- The two today announce a mutual decision to cancel the deal. For Wells, the cancellation won't be material to its financial results.
- Source: Press release
- Ocwen is down 6.7% premarket.
Nov. 13, 2014, 9:18 AM
- Aiming to limit focus to its private student loan clients, Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) agrees to the sale of its Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP) loans ($8.5B principal balance) to Navient (NASDAQ:NAVI). The paper was held in the bank's held-for-sale portfolio, and Wells has not made any federal student loans for more than four years.
- Terms were not disclosed and the deal is expected to close this year. The sale isn't material to the bank's results.
- Wells Fargo's currently has $11.9B in private student loans, making it the nation's largest among the banks.
- Source: Press Release
Nov. 5, 2014, 3:43 PM
- At issue is a two-year old U.S. lawsuit accusing Wells Fargo (WFC +0.5%) of submitting more than 6K home loans for FHA insurance without reporting they did not meet the requirements for the program. The FHA subsequently had to pay out hundreds of millions of claims on loans it should have never insured, says the government.
- JPMorgan, Bank of America, Citigroup, and Deutsche Bank have all reached settlements over the same issue over the past few years.
- In other quarterly disclosures, the bank cut its projected litigation-related losses to $950M above the sum already set aside vs. $1.2B at the end of June.
Oct. 28, 2014, 3:48 PM
Oct. 23, 2014, 4:49 PM
- Not having had the pleasure of being subject to the stress test and CCAR previously, Deutsche Bank's (NYSE:DB) U.S. unit will be a participant next year
- As in prior years, those BHCs with large trading operations - BAC, C, GS, JPM, MS, WFC - will be required to factor in a global market shock as part of their scenarios.
- Those six, plus STT and BK - thanks to their custodial operations - will be required to incorporate a counterparty default scenario.
- Among the items in the severely adverse scenario is the unemployment rate jumping to 10%, a 60% dive in the stock market, and oil jumping to $110 per barrel (how about oil falling to $10 per barrel?).
- ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, KRE, VFH, KBE, IYF, IAT, IAI, SEF, IYG, FXO, FNCL, KBWB, RKH, QABA, FINU, KCE, KRU, KBWR, RWW, RYF, KBWC, FINZ, KRS
Oct. 22, 2014, 10:32 AM
- The MBA index rose 11.6% for the week ended October 17, the largest gain since January as mortgage rates continued to decline - the average 30-year fixed mortgage coming in at 4.1%, the lowest since May 2013.
- Leading the way were refinancings, with that gauge jumping 23.3%, the biggest move since January 2012 (purchase applications fell 4.6%).
- Should the trend continue, the now-lean mortgage operations at places like Wells Fargo (WFC +0.2%), JPMorgan (JPM +0.2%), and Bank of America (BAC +0.2%), among others, should provide a nice boost to Q4 results.
- ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, KRE, VFH, KBE, IYF, IAT, SEF, IYG, FXO, FNCL, KBWB, RKH, QABA, FINU, KRU, KBWR, RWW, RYF, FINZ, KRS
Oct. 20, 2014, 12:27 PM
- Beginning today Wells Fargo (WFC +0.6%) debit and credit card holders and small business debit card holders can add those cards to their iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus to make payments without need to swipe a card at spots where merchants are set up to accept it.
- Soon adding the service will be First Horizon's (FHN +0.8%) FIrst Tennessee Bank. which notes the actual and credit and debit card numbers are not shared with merchants when payment is made.
Oct. 17, 2014, 12:20 PM
- One of the key issues serving as a road block to mortgage lending is banker fear over having any loans put back to them by the GSEs at any time - even years down the road - for any number of reasons.
- This concern was voiced most pointedly in the late summer by Wells Fargo (WFC +1.2%) CEO John Stumpf in the kind of call-out of regulators you don't often hear from corporate leaders.
- The WSJ is now reporting that Fannie (OTCQB:FNMA +5.9%), Freddie (OTCQB:FMCC +7.3%), their regulators, and banks are near a deal in which the lenders could feel protected enough to begin granting mortgages to those without perfect credit and employment histories.
- ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, VFH, IYF, SEF, IYG, FXO, FNCL, FINU, RWW, RYF, FINZ
Oct. 15, 2014, 10:49 AM
- Bank earnings models will no doubt need to be tweaked as the sure thing of higher rates becomes somewhat less sure, with the 10-year U.S. Treasury yield plunging all the way down to 2%, and 30-day Fed Funds futures - just weeks ago pricing in 100% chance of a rate hike by June 2015 - now sees no move until December 2015.
- The XLF is lower by 1.9% and the Regional Banking ETF (NYSEARCA:KRE) is down 2.1% (the S&P 500 is off a mere 1.1%). Among individual names, KeyCorp (KEY -6.4%), First Bancorp (FBP -6.4%), Regions Financial (RF -4%), U.S. Bancorp (USB -2.2%), Fifth Third (FITB -2.6%), Bank of America (BAC -4%), Citigroup (C -3.3%), JPMorgan (JPM -2.8%), Wells Fargo (WFC -1.9%).
- Financial ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, KRE, VFH, KBE, IYF, IAT, SEF, IYG, FXO, FNCL, KBWB, RKH, QABA, FINU, KRU, RWW, KBWR, RYF, FINZ, KRS
- Life insurers were also waiting on higher rates and they're slipping more than the averages as well. MetLife (MET -3.7%), Prudential (PRU -2.9%), Manulife (MFC -3.5%) Sun Life (SLF -3.4%), Lincoln Financial (LNC -3.9%).
- Insurance ETFs: KIE, IAK, KBWP, KBWI
- Previously: BofA call: Assumption about higher rates not so sure anymore
Oct. 14, 2014, 10:36 AM
- Credit quality is the best he's seen in his more than 32 years at the bank, says Wells Fargo (WFC -1.7%) chief John Stumpf, leading off the earnings call.
- Webcast and presentation slides
- The housing market, he says, has not fully recovered as tight inventory, slower household formation, high student loan debt, and tough lending standards hold things back.
- Taking over the call, CFO John Shrewsberry says 48.7M shares were repurchased during the Q (net share reduction during quarter of 34.9M), and the bank entered into a $1B forward repurchase deal expected to settle in Q4 that should retire another 19.8M shares. Between the dividend and buybacks, $3.6B was returned to owners during Q3.
- As for reserve releases, which fell to $300M during Q3 from $500M a quarter ago, Shrewsberry expects them to keep slipping as there's little room left for credit improvement.
- Previously: Wells Fargo slips after inline results
WFC vs. ETF Alternatives
Wells Fargo & Co is a diversified financial services company. It provides retail, corporate and commercial banking services through banking stores and offices, the internet and other distribution channels to individuals, businesses and institutions.
Other News & PR