Wells Fargo May Need $50 Billion More -- Analyst

Despite promises of record earnings, there’s still tons of scepticism towards Wells Fargo (WFC).

And if you’re an analyst, it’s a pinata to swing at and get some attention. Alas, KBW analyst Frederick Cannon thinks the bank may need an additional $50 billion.

Bloomberg: KBW expects $120 billion of “stress” losses at Wells Fargo, assuming the recession continues through the first quarter of 2010 and unemployment reaches 12 per cent, Cannon wrote today in a report. The San Francisco-based bank may need to raise $25 billion on top of the $25 billion it owes the U.S. Treasury for the industry bailout plan, he wrote.

First-quarter net income rose 50 per cent to about $3 billion, Wells Fargo said last week in announcing preliminary results that topped the most optimistic Wall Street estimates and sparked a 32 per cent jump in the stock. The bank attributed the profit to a surge in mortgage originations and revenue from Wachovia Corp., acquired in December. Full results are scheduled for April 22.

“Details were scarce and we believe that much of the positive news in the preliminary results had to do with merger accounting, revised accounting standards and mortgage default moratoriums, rather than underlying trends,” wrote Cannon, who downgraded the shares to “underperform” from “market perform.”

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