Make us your home page

Wachovia Corp. posts $24-billion quarterly loss

Wachovia Corp., the biggest bank operating in Florida, posted the largest-ever quarterly loss for a bank today.

The $23.7-billion third-quarter loss dwarfs the roughly $14-billion that Wells Fargo is paying to buy Wachovia. That's nearly the combined market cap value of regional rivals BB&T and Regions Financial. And it includes a goodwill impairment charge of $18.7-billion, coming shortly after the pre-crisis Wachovia told analysts there would be no such charge.

The loss, which translates to $11.18 per share, follows a $9.11-billion loss in the second quarter.

Any questions?

If so, Wachovia wasn't prepared to listen Wednesday morning. Instead of the typical earnings conference call with analysts, the Charlotte, N.C., bank posted a pre-recorded conference call with three top executives, minus the ability of analysts to call in with questions. One reason for its reticence: The Wachovia/Wells Fargo deal was struck after Citigroup initially agreed to a government-backed buyout of Wachovia, and now Citigroup is suing both companies to recover billions in damages.

Goodwill impairment reflects the declining fair market value of an asset. In this case, it's the difference between what Wachovia paid for certain assets and how Wells Fargo values them. According to Wachovia, about two-thirds of the write-down was connected with its retail and small-business operations, home to the bank's troubled portfolio of adjustable-rate mortgages.

"The unprecedented, almost unimaginable, events of the third quarter and the consideration for our pending merger with Wells Fargo created a scenario that required goodwill impairment," Wachovia chief financial officer David Zwiener said in the pre-recorded call.

Wells Fargo president and chief executive John Stumpf said in a statement that Wachovia's results were "very much in line with our expectations. … We're more encouraged than ever by what we've seen in their franchise, and we're pleased that Wachovia's team continues to focus on serving customers."

The combined company will have total assets of $1.4-trillion and $787-billion in deposits.

Jeff Harrington can be reached at or (727) 893-8242.

Wachovia Corp. posts $24-billion quarterly loss 10/22/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 22, 2008 4:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Toys 'R' Us files for bankruptcy but keeps stores open (w/video)


    NEW YORK — Toys 'R' Us, the big box toy retailer struggling with $5 billion in debt and intense online competition, has filed for bankruptcy protection ahead of the key holiday shopping season — and says its stores will remain open for business as usual.

    Shoppers shop in a Toys R Us store on Black Friday in Miami in 2016. Toys R Us, the pioneering big box toy retailer, announced late Monday, Sept. 18, 2017 it has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection while continuing with normal business operations. [Associated Press]
  2. Trigaux: Waiting for your next pay raise? Keep dreaming, employers hint

    Working Life

    The economy's bouncing back. The stock market keeps hitting new records. And the jobless rate in Florida may soon drop below 4 percent. Surely, these are robust indicators — key signs that an annual raise is just around the corner. Right?

    Who doesn't want a pay raise? Demonstrators have rallied for years in a number of states for a $15 minimum wage. But many workers across a broad pay range are unlikely to see much if any raises this year, a new survey says. [AP Photo/Seth Wenig]
  3. Florida Guard scales down troop strength; Navy sails away from the Keys

    State Roundup

    The Florida National Guard on Monday drew down its activated statewide forces to about 1,200 on-duty troops, mostly in operations focused on relief distribution in the Florida Keys — and the last of a mini-armada of U.S. Navy ships off Key West set sail for home.

    Soldiers from the Florida National Guard's Delta Company, 1st Battallion, 124th Infantry, 53rd Infantry Brigade Combat Team on Sept. 14. The Federal Emergency Managment Agency has reported that 25-percent of all homes in the Florida Keys were destroyed and 65-percent sustained major damage when they took a direct hit from Hurricane Irma.  [Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images]
  4. LOCALE Market hosting St. Pete job fair for hospitality positions


    ST. PETERSBURG — Locale Market / FarmTable Kitchen is hosting a hospitality job fair Tuesday in St. Petersburg. The event will run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the LOCALE Market at 179 2nd Ave. North, St. Petersburg. Organizers said they hope to hire about 20 workers with a focus on displaced workers from Hurricane …

    Locale Market is hosting job fair on Tues., Feb. 19. [LARA CERRI | Times] 

  5. So far, 335,000 Irma claims totalling $1.95 billion filed in Florida


    Times Staff Writer

    As of Sunday afternoon, insurers had received a total of 335,347 claims statewide for insured damage totalling $1.95 billion caused by Hurricane Irma, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation reported Monday based on preliminary figures.

    This shows a damaged mobile home inside Clover Leaf Farms RV Park in Brooksville. So far, insurers have received a total of 335,347 claims statewide for insured damage totalling $1.95 billion caused by Hurricane Irma.
[MEGAN REEVES   |   Times]