Washington Mutual, the largest U.S. savings and loan, on Tuesday said its first-quarter home-lending income fell nearly tenfold, to $38 million, compared with $323 million during the same period last year. Growth in WaMu's credit card operations helped save the day, propelling first-quarter profit for the savings and loan 9 percent. "The slowing housing market contributed to the decline in gain on sale of loans compared with the prior quarter and last year's first quarter," the company said in a statement. Net income for the Seattle-based company rose to $985 million, or 98 cents per share, from $902 million, or $1.01 per share, a year earlier. Profit per share fell because Washington Mutual had more shares outstanding than a year earlier. The company benefited from the thrift's acquisit...
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