Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) is scheduled to release its third-quarter earnings report before the markets open on Wednesday. Thomson Reuters has consensus estimates that call for $1.04 in earnings per share (EPS) on $21.75 billion in revenue. In the same period from last year the bank had $1.02 in EPS on $21.21 billion in revenue.
This large cap bank is another stock for value investors to look at now. Wells Fargo was hit hard in the sell-off as investors feel that the possibility of interest rate increases may get pushed out yet again. The Merrill Lynch analysts like the bank’s diverse business model, which protects against current low rates.
Wells Fargo has slowly, but surely, become one of the biggest mortgage lending companies in the United States, in addition to its normal banking and brokerage businesses. A continued increase in commercial real estate lending could really boost the bank’s bottom line. Which the analysts feel could aid a big return of capital to shareholders. The stock remains a top Warren Buffett holding.
Merrill Lynch likes the stability, yield and some asset sensitivity that the big bank offers, and investors looking to add financials to their portfolio could do well buying shares. The firm also likes knowing that the bank has little exposure outside of the United States.
Some analysts weighed in on Wells Fargo just before it reported its earnings:
- JPMorgan upgraded the bank to an Overweight rating from Neutral.
- Jefferies has a Buy rating but lowered the price target to $59 from $62.
- Goldman Sachs has a Neutral rating and lowered the price target to $58 from $60.
- Nomra has a Buy rating and lowered its price target to $61 from $66.
So far in 2015 Wells Fargo has underperformed the broad markets with the stock down 2.9%. However over the course of the past 52-weeks, the stock is up 5.8%.
Shares of Wells Fargo traded down 0.6% at $51.87 on Tuesday afternoon. The stock has a consensus analyst price target of $59.02 and a 52-week trading range of $46.44 to $58.77.
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