Four big New York Stock Exchange-listed financials reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2016 earnings before the start of trading this morning. Every three months, publicly traded companies report the results of their operations. Different investors watch different metrics in different industries, but the one thing most can agree upon is the central importance of gross revenue and earnings per share; the top and bottom line, accounting for dilution.

Dilution occurs when companies perform secondary offerings that reduce the total amount of earnings attributable to each share.

Granting stock to employees is another source. Considering earnings per share, rather than overall earnings, provides a clearer picture. Investors like to see both revenues and earnings increasing yearly, as well as exceeding published estimates.

Bank of America Corporation (NYSE: BAC) stock was lower in the pre-market on its financial results. The largest bank in the United States reported fourth-quarter 2016 earnings per share of $0.40, beating the consensus analyst estimate reported by Yahoo Finance of $0.38, by $0.02, or 5.3 percent. BAC revenues came in at $19.99 billion, missing the estimate of $20.85 billion, by 4.1 percent. On a year-over-year basis, the BAC EPS number was up 48.1 percent, from $0.27.

Bank of America revenue was up 2.20 percent, from $19.56 billion, year over year. A conference call was scheduled for 8:30 a.m. ET and may be accessed on the Bank of America website

BLK stock lower in pre-market

BlackRock, Inc. (NYSE: BLK) stock was higher in the pre-market. The asset management company reported fourth-quarter 2016 revenues of $2.89 billion and EPS of $5.14.

Revenues missed estimates of $2.93 billion, by 1.4 percent. EPS beat the street forecast of $5.02, by 2.4 percent, and was up 15.0 percent, year over year, from $4.47. BlackRock management scheduled a conference call for investors, analysts, and the press for 8:30 a.m. ET. The call is available from the firm's website's investor relations section.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) stock was down marginally in the pre-market. The 217-year-old firm reported revenues of $24.3 billion and EPS of $1.71. Revenues beat estimates by $350 million, or 1.5 percent, and were up 2.3 percent, year over year. JPM EPS was up 29.5 percent, year over year, by $0.39. The EPS figure beat the street view of $1.44, by $0.27, or 18.8 percent. A conference call is scheduled for 10 a.m. ET.

WFC stock sells off

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) reported revenues of $22.45 billion and EPS of $0.96. Revenues missed the street forecast of $22.45 billion, by 0.85 percent, and were down marginally year over year. WFC EPS missed the consensus estimate of $1, by $0.04, or 4.0 percent.

WFC stock was down by close to 1 percent in pre-market trading on the news.

The employer of over 260,000 people has a conference call scheduled for 11:30 a.m. The firm reports that those interested may call 866-872-5161 in the United States and Canada and 706-643-1962 from other nations to participate. The firm asks that users enter "Conference ID #31502149" to gain access. A webcast, as well as rebroadcast, will be also available from the Wells Fargo investor relations website. Wells Fargo was founded in 1852 and operates 8,700 locations in 36 countries.

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