October 22, 2008

Wachovia Posts $24B in 3rd-Quarter Losses

Wachovia, soon to be swallowed by Wells Fargo, revealed Wednesday just how deep the red ink is at the North Carolina bank -- $24 billion in the third quarter.

The loss, which amounted to $11.18 per share, came as Wachovia took an $18.8 billion write-down that brings the company in line with its lower market valuation, The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer reported.

In last year's third quarter, Wachovia turned in a profit of $1.62 billion, or 85 cents a share. The bank lost $9.1 billion in the second quarter and $707 million in the first quarter, the Observer noted.

Wachovia said its total revenue fell to $5.7 billion in the latest period from $7.5 billion a year ago.

"Although this has been a challenging quarter, Wachovia's underlying businesses remain solid and our franchise exceptionally attractive," Chief Executive Officer Bob Steel said in a statement. "We look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead as we join forces with Wells Fargo."

Wells Fargo, based in San Francisco, is grabbing Wachovia from the precipice of bankruptcy in a $15 billion deal.

"Wachovia's third-quarter results were very much in line with our expectations," Wells Fargo Chief Executive Officer John Stumpf said in a statement. "We're more encouraged than ever by what we've seen in their franchise ... ."