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Wells Fargo posts net loss

Results fall short of Wall Street’s expectations

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SAN FRANCISCO — Wells Fargo & Co. recorded a second-quarter loss of $87 million, due in large part to a write-down of its investments. The results fell short of Wall Street's expectations.

For the three months ended June 30, Wells Fargo lost 5 cents per share, compared with net income of $1.04 billion, or 61 cents per share, in the year-ago period.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call were expecting earnings of 1 cent per share.

The bank said after-tax write-downs of publicly traded and private equity securities of $1.16 billion, or 67 cents per share — mainly in the bank's venture capital portfolio — and conversion costs for First Security, National Bank of Alaska and other acquisitions were mainly to blame for the loss.

"Despite the non-cash impairment and other special charges, our company's core revenue growth engine is running very smoothly and thanks to successful partnering across business lines we continue to grow market share and satisfy more of our customers' financial needs," said chairman and chief executive Dick Kovacevich.

Second-quarter revenue fell to $3.55 billion from $4.80 billion in the year-ago period.

San Francisco-based Wells Fargo has $290 billion in assets, making it the fourth-largest bank holding company in the United States.

Net income for the first six months of 2001 was $1.078 billion, compared to $2.077 billion in the same period a year ago. Revenue fell to $8.79 billion compared to the year-ago's $9.47 billion.

Diluted cash earnings per common share were 5 cents for the second quarter of 2001, compared with 70 cents in the second quarter of 2000, and 85 cents for the first six months of 2001, compared with $1.39 for the same period of 2000.