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Davidson Deac II

Government receives first dividend from Wells Fargo

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$371.5 million dividend

Only 700 billion more to go. :)

Wells Fargo on Tuesday said it would pay a $371.5 million dividend to the government in connection with the federal bailout of the banking sector.

Wells on Oct. 29 issued 25,000 shares of preferred stock to the Treasury Department in exchange for $25 billion in funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). This quarter's dividend is payable on Feb. 15 and is Wells' first payout on TARP funds.

Wells said in a press release that in the fourth quarter it has made $22 billion in loan commitments and $50 billion in loan originations. Banks' use of TARP funds, which were intended to help facilitate lending and ease strains on the credit markets, has been a point of contention, as the net result of the cash infusions has been hard to quantify.

Wells is not the only recipient of government bailout funds to have recently announced a dividend payout. US Bancorp (USB Quote - Cramer on USB - Stock Picks) last week announced it would pay $83.3 million in dividends on TARP money.

The government could end up eventually making money on the tarp fund.

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