updated 1/19/2006 8:27:14 AM ET 2006-01-19T13:27:14

Wall Street brokerage Merrill Lynch & Co. said Thursday its fourth-quarter profit jumped 25 percent, citing stronger trading revenue. The company also reported record full-year net earnings.

For the quarter ended Dec. 30, the brokerage giant earned $1.5 billion, or $1.51 per share, up from $1.19 billion, or $1.19 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2004. Revenue climbed 15 percent to $6.78 billion from $5.91 billion a year earlier.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial projected earnings of $1.30 per share on $6.67 billion of revenue.

Merrill Lynch credited strong performances from its three major business segments for its year-over-year gains. Revenue from investment banking rose 17 percent for the quarter, while the company’s global private client business rose 11 percent and Merrill Lynch Investment Managers saw a 25 percent jump in revenue.

For the full year, Merrill Lynch earned $5.2 billion, or $5.27 per share, up 18 percent from 2004’s $4.4 billion, or $4.38 per share. Annual revenue rose 18 percent to $26 billion from $22.1 billion in the year-ago period.

Analysts had expected full-year earnings of $5.05 per share on revenues of $25.88 billion.

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