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Wachovia Meets Estimates


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said it met Wall Street's slightly lowered earnings expectations for the fourth quarter.

Operating income, excluding charges, totaled $257.4 million, or $1.26 for the fourth quarter, down from $266.6 million, or $1.30 a share, in the year-ago period. Twenty-one analysts polled by

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were expecting Wachovia to earn $1.26 in the quarter.

Loan losses of $117.5 million for the fourth quarter were down sequentially, but represented a large increase from the $66.2 million in the equivalent period last year.

Shares of Wachovia, which is based in Winston-Salem, N.C., gained $2.13, or 3.3%, to $66.50 in recent

New York Stock Exchange