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by CareyBot

It's like night and day: Washington Mutual Inc.'s home loans unit generated $1.03 billion in profit in 2005, and lost $48 million in 2006, the bank said in reporting fourth-quarter earnings. But solid performance in retail and commercial banking and credit card services helped WaMu boost profits from 2005. At $1.06 billion, or $1.10 per share, profits for the fourth quarter of 2006 were up 22.5 percent from the year before, when WaMu posted net income of $865 million, or 85 cents per share. Profits for the year totaled $3.56 billion, or $3.64 per share, up 4 percent from 2005 net income of $3.43 billion, or $3.73 per share. That's thanks in part to a $415 million gain from the sale of WM Advisors Inc., WaMu's mutual fund asset-management company, and solid performance in retail banking...