Wells Fargo & Co. beat expectations Friday by posting net income of $4.9 billion for shareholders in the fourth quarter, up 25 percent from the same time last year.
The 91 cents per share marked another record for the San Francisco bank. Mortgage banking again was a key component of the bank's earnings, making up more than $3 billion of its fourth-quarter income.
The bank earned $18 billion for shareholders for the full-year 2012, up 20 percent from the year before.
"This time last year, I said we would benefit from the many opportunities we saw for 2012 -- and we did just that," CEO John Stumpf said in a statement. "From growing revenue, making strategic acquisitions and achieving efficiency improvements, I am extremely pleased with our 2012 performance."
Wells was the first of the country's large banks to report fourth-quarter earnings. Bank of America reports its results Thursday.
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