Is Wells Fargo Poised to Head Higher Post-Earnings?

With shares of Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) trading around $51, is WFC an OUTPERFORM, WAIT AND SEE, or STAY AWAY? Let’s analyze the stock with the relevant sections of our CHEAT SHEET investing framework:

T = Trends for a Stock’s Movement

Wells Fargo is a diversified financial services company. It has three operating segments: Community Banking; Wholesale Banking; and Wealth, Brokerage, and Retirement. The company provides retail, commercial, and corporate banking services through banking stores and offices, the Internet, and other distribution channels to individuals, businesses, and institutions around the world. Wells Fargo also provides wholesale banking, mortgage banking, consumer finance, equipment leasing, agricultural finance, commercial finance, securities brokerage and investment banking, insurance agency and brokerage services, computer and data processing services, trust services, investment advisory services, mortgage-backed securities servicing, and venture capital investment.

Wells Fargo reported net income of $5.7 billion, or $1.01 per diluted common share, for second-quarter 2014, up from $5.5 billion, or $0.98 per share, for second-quarter 2013. For the first six months of 2014, net income was $11.6 billion, or $2.06 per share, up from $10.7 billion, or $1.90 per share, for the same period in 2013. “Our strong results in the second-quarter reflected the benefit of our diversified business model and our long-term focus on meeting the financial needs of our customers,” said Chair and CEO John Stumpf. “By continuing to serve customers we grew loans, increased deposits and deepened our relationships. Our results also reflected strong credit quality driven by an improved economy, especially the housing market, and our continued risk discipline. We are committed to both maintaining strong capital levels and returning more capital to our shareholders. In the second-quarter we increased our common stock dividend 17 percent and repurchased 39.4 million shares. We remain dedicated to building long-term shareholder value, and I am optimistic about the future as we continue to focus on meeting the needs of our consumer, small business and commercial customers.”

Chief Financial Officer John Shrewsberry said, “The primary drivers of Wells Fargo’s business remained strong in the second-quarter, with broad-based loan growth, increased deposit balances, and improved credit quality. Revenue increased linked quarter as the Company grew both net interest income and noninterest income, a reflection of Wells Fargo’s diversified business model. These solid fundamental business results led to an increase in pre-tax income linked quarter. Net income was down as the Company’s effective tax rate was lower in the first quarter due to a $423 million discrete tax benefit.”

T = Technicals on the Stock Chart Are Strong

Wells Fargo stock has seen positive progress over the last several months. However, the stock is currently pulling back and may need time to consolidate. Analyzing the price trend and its strength can be done using key simple moving averages. What are the key moving averages? The 50-day (pink), 100-day (blue), and 200-day (yellow) simple moving averages. As seen in the daily price chart below, Wells Fargo is trading between its rising key averages which signal neutral price action in the near-term.

WFC

(Source: Thinkorswim)

Taking a look at the implied volatility (red) and implied volatility skew levels of Wells Fargo options may help determine if investors are bullish, neutral, or bearish.

Implied Volatility (IV)

30-Day IV Percentile

90-Day IV Percentile

Wells Fargo Options

23.00%

93%

90%

What does this mean? This means that investors or traders are buying a very significant amount of call and put options contracts, as compared to the last 30 and 90 trading days.

Put IV Skew

Call IV Skew

August Options

Average

Average

September Options

Average

Average

As of today, there is an average demand from call and put buyers or sellers, all neutral over the next two months. To summarize, investors are buying a very significant amount of call and put option contracts and are leaning neutral over the next two months.

On the next page, let’s take a look at the earnings and revenue growth rates and the conclusion.

E = Earnings Are Increasing Quarter-Over-Quarter

Rising stock prices are often strongly correlated with rising earnings and revenue growth rates. Also, the last four quarterly earnings announcement reactions help gauge investor sentiment on Wells Fargo’s stock. What do the last four quarterly earnings and revenue growth (Y-O-Y) figures for Wells Fargo look like and more importantly, how did the markets like these numbers?

2014 Q2

2014 Q1

2013 Q4

2013 Q3

Earnings Growth (Y-O-Y)

3.06%

14.13%

10.22%

12.5%

Revenue Growth (Y-O-Y)

3.64%

13.93%

9.89%

-3.3%

Earnings Reaction

-0.64%*

0.77%

0.06%

-0.02%

Wells Fargo has seen increasing earnings and revenue figures over the last four quarters. From these numbers, the markets have been pleased with Wells Fargo’s recent earnings announcements.

* As of this writing

P = Excellent Relative Performance Versus Peers and Sector

How has Wells Fargo stock done relative to its peers, Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Citigroup (NYSE:C), JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), and sector?

Wells Fargo

Bank of America

Citigroup

JPMorgan Chase

Sector

Year-to-Date Return

14.11%

-0.83%

-10.00%

-4.99%

-1.42%

Wells Fargo has been a relative performance leader, year-to-date.

Conclusion

Wells Fargo is a leading provider of financial services to consumers and companies around the world. The company today reported second-quarter earnings that left investors pleased. The stock has been moving higher in recent quarters, but is currently pulling back. Over the last four quarters, earnings and revenues have been increasing. Relative to its peers and sector, Wells Fargo has been a relative year-to-date performance leader. Look for Wells Fargo to OUTPERFORM.

Let’s analyze the stock with the relevant sections of our CHEAT SHEET investing framework:

Using a solid investing framework such as this can help improve your stock-picking skills. Don’t waste another minute — click here and get our CHEAT SHEET stock picks now.

More From Wall St. Cheat Sheet: