Buffett says Wells Fargo to ride out credit crisis

Financial Crisis Posted on

Warren Buffett on Saturday expressed strong support for Wells Fargo, one of the largest equity holdings of his Berkshire Hathaway, saying it is a "fabulous" bank that is well-positioned to ride out the financial crisis.

Buffett said the fourth-largest U.S. bank is strong enough to add client relationships and deposits, earn a good spread on its assets and liabilities and to absorb the troubled Wachovia Corp.

"Wells Fargo will be a lot better off in a couple of years than if none of this had happened," Buffett said at Berkshire's annual meeting. Noting that Wells Fargo shares fell below $9 (6 pounds) each this year -- they bottomed at $7.80 on March 5 -- he added that at that lowered price, "If I had put all my net worth in one stock, that would be the stock."

At year end, Berkshire owned 304.4 million Wells Fargo shares, a 7.2 percent stake, valued at $8.97 billion, according to its annual report. Wells Fargo was the company's largest equity holding other than Coca-Cola.

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