Wells Fargo Earnings Down; Dividend Intact

Wells Fargo posted its first loss since 2001, but it will maintain a 34 cent per share dividend. CNBC reports:

Wells Fargo…said it did not need more taxpayer funds to absorb the troubled lender Wachovia. Shares of Wells Fargo rose sharply in reaction.

The bank also said on Wednesday that Wachovia, which it bought on Dec. 31, lost $11.17 billion in the fourth quarter, largely due to loan losses and investment writedowns. Wachovia nearly collapsed from soaring losses on troubled loans before Wells Fargo stepped in.

Analysts have speculated that Wells Fargo will need to raise more capital and cut its dividend to absorb Wachovia. But the bank said it remains “comfortable in the aggregate” with its original assumptions on Wachovia’s credit quality, and is comfortable with its forecasts for cost savings and earnings impact.

Wells Fargo also maintained its 34 cents per share quarterly dividend and said it has no plans to request new capital from the government’s Troubled Asset Relief Program, after previously receiving $25 billion.

Think they’ll be able to float it without government bailout funds?