And as is easy to see, better behavior is clearly related to better profits: When you’re not paying out money to settle fraud charges, there’s more for the bottom line.
3. Housing, housing, housing
Housing is on the rebound, and Wells Fargo is well-positioned to capitalize on it. Though the bank made fewer mortgage loans in the fourth quarter than it did in the third, it’s still the country’s largest home lender. Wells made $125 billion in home loans in Q4, versus $139 billion in Q3.
But with mortgage rates at or near record lows, generally steady if somewhat choppy U.S. economic growth, and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke snapping up $40 billion of mortgage-backed securities every month (to stimulate mortgage-writing demand), home lending is a good business to be in right now, period. And it’s even better to be at the top of the business, like Wells.
Final Foolish thought on Wells
Wells is a clean, mean, mortgage-writing machine. Its dedication to solid, conservative banking helped it vastly outperform its peers during the financial meltdown, and has helped keep the bank operating at the top of its game.
The article 1 Bank Stock I’m Ready to Buy Right Now originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by John Grgurich.
Fool contributor John Grgurich has no position in any stocks mentioned. Follow John’s dispatches from the bleeding heart of capitalism on Twitter @TMFGrgurich. The Motley Fool recommends Wells Fargo. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo.
Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.