Washington Mutual Offers Solid Profits, Dividend Hike

The company also has strong loan production in the second quarter.
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Washington Mutual

(WM) - Get Report

said second-quarter earnings were stronger while loan volume rose, and the company raised its dividend payout by a substantial margin.

In a press release after the close Tuesday, Washington Mutual said it earned $1.02 billion, or $1.10 a share, for the quarter ended June 30, up from $990 million, or $1.01 a share, for the same period a year ago.

Net interest income held steady at $2.03 billion, virtually unchanged from the first quarter. Noninterest income rose 35%, or $421 million, from the second quarter of 2002, which the company attributed to strong results in the home loan mortgage banking business.

As a result of continued demand for home loan refinancing, Washington Mutual's loan volume totaled $120.3 billion for the quarter, more than doubling last year's result and up 13% from the first quarter.

Consolidated assets at June 30 reached $283.2 billion, compared with $268.3 billion on Dec. 31. Washington Mutual said it's still making progress in its expansion efforts in the New York and New Jersey retail banking market. The company entered the area through the acquisition of Dime Bancorp and its 123-branch network last January.

Additionally, Washington Mutual's board declared a dividend of 40 cents a share on the company's common stock, up 10 cents from the rate of 30 cents in the previous quarter. The company said it has increased its cash dividend for 32 consecutive quarters.

The company also adopted a new share repurchase program. Under the new program, Washington Mutual is authorized to repurchase up to 100 million common shares.

In extended-hours Instinet trading, shares of Washington Mutual were rising $1.36, or 3%, to $43.50.