Wells Fargo officials are in the midst of a campaign to re-establish the faith of its customers and investors.
Earlier this week, the bank’s treasurer, Neal Blinde, spoke at a conference and said he feels good about the bank’s fiscal position and is encouraged by the recent run-up in interest rates.
Next up: a report Thursday on October sales, followed by a conference call just after the market opens where two high-ranking officials will discuss where the bank stands.
At a Bank of America Merrill Lynch conference Tuesday in New York, Blinde said “the company’s core measurements of fiscal strength, including capital and liquidity levels, remain healthy,” according to a report from S&P Global Market Intelligence.
“He added that Wells stands to benefit from higher interest rates, calling the recent run-up in long-term rates ‘a really nice trend’ that, if continued, would boost the bank’s interest income,” the report said.
The bank has been in damage control mode since news broke in September that it agreed to pay a $185 million fine in conjunction with illegal sales practices. Wells admitted that its employees, motivated by aggressive sales goals, had enrolled customers in programs without their knowledge or consent.
Shares are down more than 5 percent in 2016, but had been considerably lower until a surge on Nov. 4 resulted in a 13.5 percent jump on the back of rising bond yields.
However, the bank still has a lot of work to do.
Four Wells Fargo shareholders this week demanded changes in the bank’s board structure as part of broader recommendations to improve operations, according to a report from Reuters.
The sales scandal already has resulted in the resignation of CEO and Chairman John Stumpf, who left Oct. 12 and was replaced in those roles by Tim Sloan and Stephen Sanger, respectively.
Analysts have been of differing minds about the bank’s future.
Dick Bove at Rafferty Capital Markets has Wells as the only “sell” ratingof the 35 banks he covers. However, R.W. Baird on Wednesday upped its price target to $55 from $50 and kept its “overweight” rating. Conversely, Guggenheim Securities earlier this week cut Wells from neutral to sell with a $47 price target, or nearly 8 percent lower from current levels.
The October sales numbers will be released at 9 am ET. An hour later, Chief Financial Officer John Shrewsberry and head of community banking Mary Mack will participate in a conference call, according to a company news release.