When other banks were nursing their wounds, Wells Fargo (WFC) was posting consistently strong results. Now the question has become: how well will the San Francisco lender's performance hold up as the competition for loans stiffens?

Wells' second-quarter results ended its 17-quarter streak of earnings per share growth, and during a conference call with analysts, the company's top executives faced a series of questions about the stepped-up competition, its impact on the company's profits and the risks it brings.

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