Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) Q4 2014 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript
Jan 14, 2015 • 10:00 am ET
Good morning. My name is Regina and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the Wells Fargo Fourth Quarter Earnings Conference Call. All lines have been placed on mute to prevent any background noise. After the speakers' remarks, there will be a question-and-answer session. (Operator Instructions). I would now like to turn the call over to Jim Will, Director of Investor Relations. Mr. Will, you may begin your conference.
Thank you, Regina. Good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining our call today where our Chairman and CEO, John Stumpf; and our CFO, John Shrewsberry will discuss fourth quarter results and answer your questions. Before we get started, I would like to remind you that our third quarter earnings release and quarterly supplement are available on our website at wellsfargo.com.
(Forward-Looking Cautionary Statements)
I will now turn the call over to our Chairman and CEO, John Stumpf.
Thank you, Jim. Good morning and Happy New Year to everyone. Thank you for joining us today. We just completed another outstanding year at Wells Fargo. We generated record earnings produced strong deposit and loan growth grew the number of customers we serve, improved credit quality, enhanced our strong risk management practices, strengthened our capital and liquidity levels and rewarded our shareholders by increasing our dividend and buying back more shares. Our achievements during 2014 demonstrated the benefit of our diversified business model and our continued focus on the real economy.
Let me share, just some of our accomplishments during the past year. We generated earnings of $23 billion and earnings per share of $4.10, both up 5% from the prior year. We grew both revenue and pre-tax, pre-provision profit. We had strong broad-based loan growth. Our core loan portfolio increased by $60 billion or 8%. Our deposit franchise continued to generate strong consumer and balanced growth with total deposit up $89 billion or 8% and we grew the number of primary consumer checking customers by 5.2%. Our credit performance continue to be very strong with net charge-offs, down $1.6 billion and our net charge-off ratio declining to just 35 basis points for the year.
Our capital levels increased even as we return to more capital to shareholders. We've returned to $12.5 billion to our stockholders through dividends and net share repurchases up 74% from a year ago. While we serve our customers throughout the world, 97% of our revenue comes from the United States and there had been many signs of strength in the US economy. GDP growth
accelerated during 2014 and maybe even stronger in 2015. Last year was the strongest year of job growth in 15 years and December was the 50th consecutive month of job creation, unprecedented in the US history. Consumer confidence is at its highest level since the peak of the last economic expansion. Home ownership remains an aspiration for most Americans and recent developments such as the announced reduction in FHA premiums GSE clarification on repurchase rules and