Wells Fargo & Co. is enjoying fat times in what looks to be a lean year industrywide thanks to an ongoing payoff from its Wachovia Corp. acquisition.

Wells' $3.1 billion of earnings in the second quarter handily outpaced analyst expectations, and its unchanged revenue outdid many of its peers' performance. The bank highlighted incremental growth in its private student lending, auto, and asset management divisions, but gains in its investment banking business and a substantial reserve release on former Wachovia assets fed the bottom line even more.

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