Updated from 8:50 a.m. ESTMerrill Lynch ( MER) posted a nearly $10 billion fourth-quarter loss and wrote down $14.6 billion in soured mortgage debt and other loans -- numbers that were worse than the most aggressive predictions on the Street. The New York-based brokerage posted a net loss of $9.8 billion, or $12.01 a diluted share, on negative revenue of $8.19 billion, down from revenue of $8.39 billion for the year prior. A year earlier, Merrill had a net profit of $2.35 billion, or $2.41 per share. Analysts polled at Thomson Financial were expecting Merrill to record a fourth-quarter loss of $4.70 per share on revenue of $702.1 million.
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