Wells Fargo earnings beat expectations

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Wells Fargo delivered quarterly earnings that topped analysts' expectations on Tuesday.

The biggest mortgage lender in the U.S. posted first-quarter earnings of $1.04 per share, down slightly from $1.05 a share in the year-earlier period.

Revenue rose to $21.28 billion from $20.63 billion a year ago.

Analysts expected the biggest mortgage lender in the U.S. to post first-quarter earnings per share of 98 cents on $21.24 billion in revenue, according to a Thomson Reuters consensus estimate.

Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase are the first two big banks scheduled to report earnings this season.

Shares of Wells Fargo were higher in premarket trading following the announcement. (Get the latest quote here.)

Wells Fargo, along with Blackstone, agreed on Friday to purchase most of GE Capital Real Estate's assets for about $23 billion both companies said. Specifically, "Wells Fargo has agreed to purchase performing first mortgage commercial real estate loans valued at $9.0 billion in the United States, U.K. and Canada."

"This is an important transaction in the commercial real estate industry," said Mark Myers, Wells Fargo's head of commercial real estate. "The portfolio of performing loans we've purchased is a strong addition to our commercial real estate platform in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada, which are all active lending markets for us."

The bank made the move following news that General Electric would be selling most of GE Capital assets and using those profits for a $50 billion buyback.

Wells Fargo's stock has risen nearly 14 percent in the last 12 months.

Last quarter, the bank reported earnings per share in line with analysts expectations amid a 15.5 percent rise in commercial and industrial lending, while credit card loans also rose 16 percent.

Before Tuesday, the company had met or exceeded Wall Street's expectations each of the last four quarters.

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