Wells Fargo Trading Up On The Not-So-Soft Bigotry Of Extremely Low Expectations

Investors seem psyched that Wells even got out of bed today.
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No one likes quarterly earnings.

Wells Fargo.Insane

There's all the paperwork and the hiding sharing of stuff, and the mischegas with setting up an analyst call, and Mike Mayo. Earnings are an annoyance for everyone who isn't an accountant or a first-year associate at Cravath who gets to make his bones making sure that BofA's Countrywide slip isn't showing.

But if you're Wells Fargo and you're reporting on Q4 2016 and the year that came before it, it's especially bad considering that you are about to remind us that your 2016 was the banking equivalent of that time Richard Pryor lit himself on fire and ran down the street ablaze after freebasing cocaine for like a week straight.

So, how did it go, Wells?

Wells Fargo posted fourth-quarter earnings Friday that missed on the top and bottom lines.
Its share prices initially declined nearly 1 percent but jumped at the market open, gaining as much as 2.6 percent in the first half-hour.
The San Francisco-based institution saw profit of 96 cents per share against estimates of $1 from analysts surveyed by Reuters. That represented a 6.8 percent decline from $1.03 per share from the same period in 2015. Revenue was $21.58 billion against Wall Street estimates of $22.451 billion

Woof.

So WFC stock must be getting crushed, eh?

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Nope!

In fact, Wells is trading well ahead of the other Big Four this morning even after both JPMorgan and BofA recorded objectively strong fourth quarters (Citi reports Wednesday). Wells literally fell short of the mark on almost every important metric and even saw it's net interest margin grow, yet investors are behaving like the stagecoach nailed it.

Obviously, Wells' whisper numbers were total dogshit, but how bad? And when was the last time a bank benefited this obviously from such insanely low expectations? And are we at a point with Wells where we're happy that their terrible numbers are at least seemingly genuine?

If the big banks were siblings, Wells would be the lazy stoner teenage brother who just got into the community college that everyone thought was a reach. His parents are so excited that they buy him a car as a reward, much to the shock and chagrin of his three older sisters pedaling their bicycles around Ivy League campuses.

So, congrats to Wells Fargo on a truly shitty quarter. Literally.

Wells Fargo earnings: 96 cents per share, vs. expected EPS of $1 [CNBC]

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