Net income applicable to shareholders rose to $5.74 billion, or $1.16 per share on GAAP basis, in the quarter ended Dec. 31, from $4.87 billion or 96 cents per share a year ago.
Shares of Wells Fargo were down 1 percent at $62.32 in premarket trading.
The company, which has been struggling to cut costs in the wake of a sales practices scandal, said it expects full-year 2018 total expenses of $53.5 billion to $54.5 billion.
Analysts and investors have kept close tabs on the San Francisco-based lender’s expenses, which topped 60 cents per dollar of revenue after the scandal erupted in September, 2016. The bank has struggled to improve that key efficiency metric.
It reported non-interest expenses of $16.80 billion for the fourth quarter, bringing total non-interest expenses for the year to $58.48 billion.
Analysts had estimated on average that non-interest expense would be $54.62 billion for 2017.
Overall revenue rose 2.2 percent to $22.05 billion, supported by its business lending segment.
Reporting By Aparajita Saxena in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr