Wachovia ( WB), the nation's fourth-largest bank, reported a 32% gain in third-quarter earnings, helped by a recent acquisition.

In the quarter, the Charlotte, N.C.-based bank earned $1.66 billion, or $1.06 a share, compared with $1.26 billion, or 96 cents a share, a year ago. The year-ago figures don't include the results from SouthTrust, a regional lender acquired by Wachovia last November.

On an operating basis, which included merger-related charges, Wachovia earned $1.09 a share, which exceeded the Thomson Financial consensus estimate by 2 cents.

Total revenue at Wachovia was $6.7 billion, up 19% from $5.6 billion a year ago. Revenue exceeded the consensus estimate of $6.46 billion.

Revenue growth at Wachovia was fueled by strong performance in its consumer and corporate banking businesses. Income from fees and service charges were big drivers in the quarter. Service charges rose 11% to $555 million, while banking fees rose 23% to $385 million.

Fees from investment banking work also fueled earnings. Those fees rose 24% to $294 million.

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