Washington Mutual Profit Falls 20% But Beats Forecasts
Washington Mutual said Tuesday its first-quarter profits fell 20% amid a nationwide implosion of the subprime home loan market.
The nation's largest savings and loan company reported quarterly income of 86 cents a share, down from 98 cents reported a year ago. Quarterly revenue was $3.62 billion, up slightly from $3.59 billion in the same period last year.
Analysts polled by Thomson Financial were looking for earnings of 83 cents a share on revenue of $3.6 billion.
Kerry Killinger, Washington Mutual's chairman and chief executive, said in a release that the company's retail banking, card services and commercial groups fared well but the home loan market remained a serious challenge given problems in the subprime segment.
"Over the past 12 months, we have taken a number of prudent actions to reduce our exposure to the subprime mortgage industry," Killinger said in a statement. "These actions, along with a diversified business mix, limited our exposure to the mortgage market's downturn and position us well to expand and grow as market conditions improve."