Wells Fargo & Co.'s even progress in integrating Wachovia Corp. says a lot about the company. That Wells' revenues still dropped to the lowest levels since last March says just as much about its industry.

From an operational perspective, Wells' first-quarter results were sound, adding to the case that the company has a solid grasp on the business lines and credit exposures, many of them unfamiliar, that it had inherited from Wachovia. Wells' former peer came cheaply because of its outsized exposure to such morasses as condo development, structured finance and option adjustable-rate mortgages.

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