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Wells Fargo Beats Estimates Amid Gains in Auto Lending, Credit Cards

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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Wells Fargo (WFC - Get Report) , the country's largest mortgage lender, posted higher third quarter profit than analysts estimated as growth in its credit-card business and a spike in auto financing made up for a decline in home loans.

Companywide, net income climbed 1% to $5.8 billion, or $1.05 a share, compared with the average estimate of $1.04 from analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Total revenue increased 3% to $21.9 billion, the bank said. That compared with an average projection of $21.8 billion.

"Compared with a year ago, we grew loans, deposits and capital and returned more capital to shareholders through dividends and share buybacks," CEO John Stumpf said in a statement. "Our balance sheet and credit results remained strong."

The portion of retail banking customers with credit cards increased 3.2 percentage points from a year earlier to 42.9%, the bank said, and auto loans climbed 10% to $8.3 billion.

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