matched Wall Street's estimates, posting a 29% profit increase.
The savings and loan earned $950 million, or 98 cents a share, up from $641 million, or 76 cents a share, in the year-ago quarter, in line with analyst estimates of 98 cents, according to Thomson Financial/First Call. The results include two acquisitions made during the quarter.
The company said that lower interest rates brought down borrowing costs and increased consumer demand for mortgages, but loans with potential repayment problems rose by $399 million to $2.78 billion.
Washington Mutual didn't provide any specific guidance, but said in a press release that it expects 2002 to be another strong year, although it appears that the net interest margin will move toward a "more normalized level."
The stock closed at $37 before the earnings release Tuesday.