I don’t know about Wells, but I have US Bancorp shares (NYSE: USB). The stock appears expensive if you look at the price book ratio, which is a common metric to measure bank stocks. But USB is a very different bank compared to others, it’s a conservative lender. Since I opened my checking account with USB a few weeks ago, I had opportunity to visit the branch, it’s clean, and looks much sharp then the Bank of America branches I visited. Maybe, USB could get some deposit base from B of A, amid all the controversies around B of A. The USB stock was obviously knocked down last week due to secondary offering (raise money to repay TARP, or to get out of TRAP to be more precise). Today it got a nice bump from Buffett endorsement.
(Update) According to Dow Jones News, USB sold 139 million shares at $18 per share. See the news at WSJ.
(Original) When I say cheap, I meant in relative terms.
My benchmark: Buffett endorsed 2 banks in Berkshire annual shareholder meeting: US Bank (NYSE: USB) and Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC). Many people did not know current Wells Fargo is not the good old Wells Fargo in the west coast, a little more than 10 years ago Norwest and Wells Fargo merged, and adopted the Wells name. Ok, back to the topic. Both USB and WFC stocks had a fun ride in the last 12 months. But more interestingly, as of today, WFC is down 5% YoY, while USB is down 42%. In the past 12 months a lot things have happened to Wells, the biggest one being the Wachovia acqusition. Both took TARP money. Both issued common stocks: twice for Wells (last Fall and last week), once fot USB (today). But the purpose of issing stocks is slightly different: Wells needed the money for captial, USB needs the money to pay back TARP.
First Quarter earning reports for the stocks I own (as of this writing, it could change without notice). This is mostly for my own benefit, I want to collect them in one place rather than go to different IR web sites. Listening to conference call is a mixed experience, sometimes it’s fun, sometimes it’s boring. The most interesting part is the Q&A session, where the analysts and management goes back and forth: and I get the most out of things there (most of time).