US banking giant Wells Fargo Wednesday reported slightly higher quarterly earnings behind overall loan growth and increased deposit levels in an improving US economy.
Wells Fargo, the largest mortgage lender in the US, said net income for the fourth quarter was $5.7 billion, up 1.8 percent from the year-ago period.
Total average loans came in at $849.4 billion for the quarter, an increase of four percent from the fourth quarter of 2013. Total deposits were $1.1 trillion, up eight percent from last year.
Fourth-quarter earnings of $1.02 per share matched analyst expectations.
With a large retail banking presence, Wells Fargo has been viewed as well-positioned for the US recovery. Its shares have outperformed the S&P 500 over the last year.
Higher profits in Wells Fargo's community banking segment helped offset lower results in wholesale banking, in part due to a $287 million jump in expenses due to growth projects and regulatory compliance.
"Wells Fargo had another strong year in 2014, with continued strength in the fundamental drivers of long-term performance: growing customers, loans, deposits and capital," said chief executive John Stumpf.
"As the US economy continues to build momentum, I'm optimistic that our diversified business model will continue to benefit all of our stakeholders in 2015."
For the full year, net income was $23.1 billion, up 5.4 percent from 2013.
In pre-market trade, Wells Fargo shares fell 1.6 percent to $51.