Wells Fargo first-quarter profit surges 22 percent

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NEW YORK Wells Fargo (WFC), the nation's biggest mortgage lender, said its first-quarter profit surged percent after the bank cut expenses.

Net income available to common shareholder rose to $4.93 billion from $4.02 billion a year earlier.

On a per-share basis, earnings were 92 cents, beating the 89 cents forecast by Wall Street. Revenue slipped 2 percent to $21.3 billion and missed expectations.

Wells Fargo was little known outside the Western U.S. before scooping up a teetering Wachovia in the depths of the financial crisis in 2008. The bank has turned a profit every quarter since 2009, the year it wrapped up its acquisition of Wachovia.

The Federal Reserve said last month that Wells Fargo passed its annual checkup, a "stress test" to measure how a bank would fare in a severe recession. The Fed cleared the bank to raise its quarterly dividend by a nickel to 30 cents per share.

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