Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Wachovia Earnings Call

Wachovia held its earnings call Tuesday. As expected the news was bleak; headlined by an $8.9 Billion loss, a steep dividend cut, and 10,750 job cuts. However, the stock rallied on the news and earnings call. While the loss and job cuts are painful, it appears that Wachovia has a plan to turn its operations around and deal with the bank’s mortgage exposure.

The stock rally demonstrates the confidence that Wall Street has in new CEO Robert Steel. Some of the points in the turn-around plan were outlined in the conference call transcript. Wachovia will not be raising more capital or selling additional stock that would dilute current shareholders stake. The dividend cut to 5 cents per share will save $700 million per quarter, while the wholesale mortgage operation will be shut down. Analysts expect that the bank will remain an independent operation.