Image: Bloomberg News
Image: Bloomberg News

Wells Fargo reported fourth quarter profits at its wealth management division rose 5% over a year ago.

The Wealth, Brokerage and Retirement division said quarterly profits rose to $514 million from $491 million for the year-ago period.

Total revenue grew to $3.6 billion for the quarter, up from $3.4 billion. Noninterest expenses rose to $2.8 billion from $2.6 billion.

Advisor headcount dipped 1% year-over-year, falling to 15,187 advisors.

The division said that client assets grew 4%, reaching $1.6 trillion. Managed account assets increased 13% year-over-year, rising to $423 billion.

For the fiscal year, the division reported profits of $2 billion, up from $1.7 billion for the prior year.

Wells Fargo is the first of the wirehouses to report fourth quarter earnings. Overall, the San Francisco-based company said quarterly profits increased 2% year-over-year, rising to $5.7 billion.

Wells Fargo said profits for its community banking unit rose to $3.4 billion from $3.2 billion for the year ago period. The wholesale banking unit's profits fell to $1.9 from $2.1 billion.

The company's total revenue grew 4%, reaching $21.4 billion.

Diluted earnings-per-share rose 2%, increasing to $1.02 per share.

CEO John Stumpf said during a conference call that company would benefit from momentum in the U.S. economy.

"Our achievements in 2014 demonstrated the benefit of our diversified business model and our focus on the real economy," Stumpf said.

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