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New Wells Fargo CEO Invests in Bank

- By Jennifer Chiou

Timothy Sloan (Insider Trades), CEO and president of Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC), purchased 39,000 shares of the company on April 17. The average price per share was $51.65, for a total transaction of $2,014,350. Wells Fargo is a financial services company that provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage and consumer and commercial finance throughout the United States. The company, which was founded in 1852, is headquartered in San Francisco. Wells Fargo has a market cap of $261.68 billion.

The aforementioned transaction was Sloan's sole insider purchase of the company from 2013 to date; however, the CEO sold 334,500 shares in eight transactions during the same period of time. There was an absence of Wells Fargo insider purchases in the three years starting from 2013, although insiders sold at least half a million shares of the company in total each year. The total number of Wells Fargo insider shares sold decreased each year from 2013 to 2015, from 1,313,052 shares in 2013 to 564,196 shares in 2015. In 2017 to date, aside from Sloan, one other insider increased his stake in the company. Director Stephen Sanger (Insider Trades) purchased 58,342 shares of the company for an average per share price of $51.65. On the other hand, two insiders decreased their stake in the company. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (Insider Trades) (BRK-A)(BRK-B) and Senior Executive Vice President David Carroll (Insider Trades) sold 7,134,447 and 117,704 shares of the company in 2017 to date. For more information about insider trades with Wells Fargo, click here.

The bank reported net income of $5.46 billion for the first quarter ended March 31, 2017. This equates to diluted earnings per common share of $1. The company also reported an increase of 1.15% return on assets and 11.54% return on equity. Total average deposits and total average loans were up 7% and 4%, respectively, in comparison to the previous year's first quarter.

The company's annual revenue and annual net income both follow an increasing trendline and increased 1.3% and 6.6%, respectively, since 2012. For more financial statistics, click here.

Wells Fargo announced the expansion of its Innovation Incubator (IN2), a program that advances innovative clean technologies and startup companies. After the expansion, the $30 million program coadministered by Wells Fargo and the United States Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) will broaden its scope to include transportation, microgrid solutions and sustainable agriculture while also implementing a Channel Partner Award program. IN2 was started in 2014 with the intention to fast-track clean technology entrepreneurs.

On April 17, the company reported the extension of its banking agreement with the State of Nevada. Nevada and the Wells Fargo Government Banking and Treasury Management teams have worked together since 2012 to reduce service costs. The State of Nevada Board of Examiners approved the extension of the agreement until 2021, with a two-year renewal option.

According to GuruFocus, Wells Fargo has a business predictability rank of 2 out of 5 stars. For more information about business predictability ranks, click here.

Jerome Dodson (Trades, Portfolio) increased his stake in Wells Fargo by 11.11% during the first quarter of 2017. The average price was $56.74 per share. Dodson has increased his stake in the company each quarter by at least 20% since the fourth quarter of 2015. For more information about guru trades with Wells Fargo, click here.

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This article first appeared on GuruFocus.