Monday, May 5, 2008

Wells Fargo Market Share

Voltron says: Wells Fargo has a huge share of bad mortgages but the stock hasn't suffered enough. What does it have in common with Moody's? Warren Buffett is a major shareholder in both. People are afraid to go short against his companies. I am not.

DALLAS -- (May 5, 2008) /PRNewswire/ First quarter mortgage originations tumbled from a year earlier but were better than the fourth quarter, according to an analysis of earnings data by

Among 14 of the largest U.S. primary lenders, residential volume was $370.6 billion during the first quarter 2008, down about 22 percent from the first quarter 2007 but up approximately 3 percent from the fourth quarter.

Countrywide Financial Corp., which is expected to be acquired by Bank of America Corp. during the third quarter, retained its No. 1 spot. While planned program cutbacks will likely push volume lower, total business from the merged operation should still leave the combined entity as the country's biggest mortgage lender.

Wells Fargo & Co. remained the No. 2 originator, though it cut Countrywide's lead. No. 3 was JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The following table ranks the five biggest lenders:

Company Q1 2008 Originations
Countrywide $73.0 billion
Wells Fargo $66.0 billion
JPMorgan $53.8 billion
Bank of America $38.6 billion
Citigroup $34.3 billion

Compared to the first quarter 2007, U.S. Bancorp saw the biggest increase -- jumping 86 percent. Flagstar Bancorp Inc. was up 44 percent, and First Horizon National Corp. managed a 19 percent increase.

The biggest decrease from a year earlier was seen by IndyMac Bancorp Inc. -- which tumbled 63 percent. Washington Mutual Inc. slid 60 percent from the first quarter 2007, while Residential Capital LLC was down 40 percent.

Flagstar's first quarter 2008 originations were 22 percent higher than the fourth quarter -- the biggest increase of any lender. Both U.S. Bancorp and ResCap jumped 21 percent during the same period.

The biggest decline from the fourth quarter was seen by WaMu, which fell 34 percent. IndyMac was next, with a 21 percent drop, followed by National City Corp., which was off 15 percent.

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