Wells Fargo

Maryland man to plead guilty to trading on inside info from ex-Wells Fargo banker

From Westlaw Journal Mergers & Acquisitions: A Maryland man has agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges that he netted more than $650,000 in illegal profits by trading on inside information he learned from an investment banker about potential and upcoming mergers and acquisitions.

The U.S. attorney’s office for the Western District of North Carolina announced April 3 that Walter D. Wagner, 33, of Rockville, Md., will plead guilty to one count of conspiring to commit insider trading.

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Airline takes plane lease dispute with bank to federal court

Southwest Airlines has sued Wells Fargo Bank Northwest for breach of contract for allegedly refusing to accept the return of two airplanes under leases held by the bank.

Southwest filed a declaratory judgment complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, asserting that it was within its rights under the lease agreements to replace engines on both airplanes.

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Wells Fargo retirement survey

More Americans believe they’ll have to work longer to make ends meet. A new Wells Fargo Retirement Survey shows that 30 percent believe they’ll have to work until they’re 80. Reuters Personal Finance Editor Lauren Young breaks down the survey and explains what it means for people as they near what should be their retirement years.

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Mixed Banking Results

By Joseph Griesbeck, CFA – Editor, Ownership Intelligence

Two US banks reported their earnings today, but each result differed based on their business models with the current market. With many common investors, the two banks have produced opposite trading directions for their shares. Five investors in particular will feel this effect as they belong in the top ten active holders lists for each company.

Q4 2011 earnings fell for Citigroup Inc (C-N), down 11% compared to a year ago, primarily because its investment banking operations suffered from the capital markets conditions. Fidelity is Citi’s top shareholder, owning 4.1% of the common equity, and two of the Capital Group Companies together own 3.7% of the shares outstanding.

Even though it holds less than 1 percent of Citi shares, hedge fund Pershing Square’s $800 million investment in the bank represents 10% of its equity portfolio, according to its most recent filings. It should be concerned that Citi’s 38 cents per share profit missed Wall Street’s estimates of 49 cents, especially after being revised downward from 76 cents per share two weeks ago.

Wells Fargo & Co (WFC-N), on the other hand, saw its profits grow 20% on improved credit quality and loan growth. Its largest shareholder, Berkshire Hathaway, holds 361 million shares worth $11 billion before trading began this morning. Buffett’s WFC position makes up 18% of his publicly traded equities portfolio as of its latest 13F.

Wells Fargo benefitted from the current market by having commercial lending as its biggest sector, and Citi CEO Pandit admitted the bank needed to realign itself in response to the macro environment. Investors in US banks may continue to see similar results as Morgan Stanley and Goldman will announce earnings this week.

See full report here.

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Moody’s Downgrades Three Large US Banks

Thomson Reuters Ownership Intelligence offers free access to industry reports, investor profiles, job movements of investment professionals, and much more. Follow them on Twitter.

On Wednesday, Moody’s downgraded three US banks: Bank of America (BAC-N), Citigroup (C-N), and Wells Fargo (WFC-N). The credit ratings agency had signaled the move in June, but it backed up its actions yesterday with the belief that the government is less likely to bail out the large lenders. The stock market responded yesterday with declines of 7.5%, 5.2%, and 3.9% in BAC, C, and WFC, respectively.

Moody’s has stated that it could cut the banks’ ratings further if pending Dodd-Frank provisions are implemented that would stop too-big-to-fail bailouts. The top investors in these banks will need to reevaluate their positions before another potential downgrade.

This ownership report identifies the top shareholders of each lender.