updated 1/20/2004 10:56:20 AM ET 2004-01-20T15:56:20

Bank One Corp., which agreed last week to be acquired by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. for $58 billion, on Tuesday reported nearly $1 billion in profits for the fourth quarter, a 16 percent increase from a year ago that handily beat Wall Street's expectations.

The nation's sixth-largest bank reported solid gains from retail and commercial banking, boosted by growth in deposits and improved credit quality, and said its credit-card unit benefited from higher loan volumes.

Revenues, however, were less than analysts expected.

Net income for the October-December period was $978 million, or 87 cents per share, compared with $842 million, or 72 cents per share, a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call had expected earnings of 80 cents a share.

Revenue was $4.11 billion, down 2 percent from $4.2 billion. The consensus estimate by analysts was for revenue of $4.27 billion.

Bank One's share price was unchanged at $51 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Chairman and chief executive officer Jamie Dimon said the results show a company in top shape as it prepares to merge into what will be the nation's second-largest banking company, behind Citigroup.

"We are ending 2003 in excellent condition, with common and upgraded systems, a fortress balance sheet and noticeable growth across most lines of business," Dimon said. "We're seeing results of the improved processes and disciplines that we've implemented."

For the full year, net income was $3.53 billion, or $3.11 per share, up from $3.29 billion, or $2.80 per share, in 2002. Revenue declined 3 percent to $16.2 billion from $16.7 billion.

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