Washington Mutual Inc., Seattle, has reported earnings of $821 million ($0.92 per share) for the third quarter, up from $674 million ($0.76 per share) a year earlier despite a falloff in net income in its home loan segment.Net income for the home loan segment totaled $165 million in the third quarter, down from $208 million in the second quarter and $273 million a year earlier, the company said. "The decrease from the comparable quarters reflects a decline in noninterest income due to lower gain from mortgage loans driven by a more competitive pricing environment for prime home loans in the secondary market, as well as the increasing cost of hedging the [mortgage servicing rights] as interest rates have risen throughout the year," the company said. "Also contributing to around half of the linked quarter variance were gains recorded in the second quarter related to inter-segment sales of loans during the first half of 2005." Net income for the commercial group segment, including Long Beach Mortgage Co., totaled $201 million in the third quarter, up from $139 million a year earlier, WaMu reported. The company can be found online at http://www.wamu.com.

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