Wells Fargo posts earnings of $1.05 a share vs. $1.04 expected

A woman uses a Wells Fargo ATM in New York City.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC

Wells Fargo delivered third-quarter earnings that topped analysts' expectations on Wednesday, helped by its purchase of commercial loans from General Electric.

Shares of Wells Fargo were down in premarket trading following the announcement. (Get the latest quote here.)

The nation's biggest mortgage lender posted third-quarter earnings of $5.44 billion, or $1.05 per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 30 from $5.41 billion, or $1.02 per share, a year earlier.

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Revenue rose to $21.88 billion from $21.21 billion a year ago.

Wall Street had expected the fourth-biggest U.S. bank by assets to deliver quarterly earnings per share of $1.04 on $21.76 billion in revenue, according to consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters.

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Earlier this week, GE announced that it would sell its commercial lending and leasing businesses worth more than $30 billion to Wells Fargo, as the industrial conglomerate shifts its focus back to manufacturing.

On sale are the commercial distribution finance business that serves the marine, recreational vehicles and motorsports industries as well as the vendor finance business that serves sectors including construction and technology.

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The transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2016, GE said.

—Reuters contributed to this report.