(Reuters) – Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N) first-quarter profit plunged as it set aside billions of dollars to cover potential loan-losses from the coronavirus pandemic.

Wells, the fourth-largest U.S. lender, said bit.ly/2ycjhZR on Tuesday quarterly profit fell to $42 million, or 1 penny per share, from $5.51 billion, or $1.20 per share, a year earlier.

Analysts had expected a profit of 33 cents per share, on average, according to Refinitiv data. It was not immediately clear whether the estimates were comparable.

The novel coronavirus has exploded across the United States since late-January, infecting more than 580,000 people, shutting businesses and putting nearly 10 million people out of work. tmsnrt.rs/2K5Fprs

Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru and Imani Moise; in New York; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila and Lauren Tara LaCapra

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