JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Wells Fargo & Co (WFC): Earnings, An Early Look

Earnings season has begun, and on Friday, Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) will release its latest quarterly results. The key to making smart investment decisions on stocks reporting earnings is to anticipate how they’ll do before they announce results, leaving you fully prepared to respond quickly to whatever inevitable surprises arise. That way, you’ll be less likely to make an uninformed, kneejerk reaction that turns out to be exactly the wrong response to the news.

Even in the much-maligned banking sector, Wells Fargo has a strong reputation for having minimized its own damage from the mortgage meltdown, inheriting most of its problems when it bought out Wachovia during the financial crisis in 2008. Since then, the bank has worked hard to resolve those problems. Let’s take an early look at what’s been happening with Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) over the past quarter and what we’re likely to see in its quarterly report.

Stats on Wells Fargo

Analyst EPS Estimate $0.88
Change From Year-Ago EPS 17%
Revenue Estimate $21.6 billion
Change From Year-Ago Revenue (0.2%)
Earnings Beats in Past 4 Quarters 4

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Can Wells Fargo prove analysts wrong again this quarter?
In recent months, analysts have gotten more optimistic about Wells Fargo’s earnings prospects, upgrading their earnings estimates for the just-ended quarter by a penny per share and adding $0.03 to their EPS calls for full-year 2013. The stock has performed reasonably well, rising about 6% since early January.

Wells Fargo has a strong reputation among big banks for its relatively drama-free performance. With its status as the No. 4 bank in the country by assets and carrying the seal of approval from Warren Buffett, Wells has treated shareholders well lately, providing good returns and boosting its dividend earlier this year. Moreover, after passing the Fed’s stress tests last month, a further 20% increase in its payout appears imminent