SLM Corp., the holding company for the student loan business known as Sallie Mae, reported higher profits for the fourth quarter and for all of last year.

For the quarter, the company earned $306 million ($1.93 per share), up from $266 million ($1.69) in the fourth quarter of 2001. For 2002, profit was $792 million ($4.93), compared with $384 million ($2.28) for 2001.

The results reflect a variety of one-time items, including a $51 million fourth-quarter charge for losses on the company's portfolio of commercial aircraft leases, a $262 million gain on securitization of student loans and a $51 million gain on the value of derivatives it owns.

Reston-based Sallie Mae manages more than $78 billion in student loans for more than 7 million borrowers. In recent years it has expanded into consumer loans and business and technical services for colleges, among other things.

* Capital One Financial Corp., one of the country's largest credit card companies, reported earnings of $239.7 million ($1.05 per share) for the three months ended Dec. 31, a 35 percent increase from net income of $177.7 million (80 cents) in the fourth quarter of 2001.

For all of 2002 the Falls Church company reported net income of $899.6 million ($3.93), compared with $642 million ($2.91) in 2001. The balance of loans managed by Capital One grew by 32 percent in 2002. Capital One increased its loan loss allowance by $880 million last year and began to pursue less risky loan markets.

* First Virginia Banks Inc. of McLean reported strong earnings growth, despite a drop in loan levels in 2002.

The bank holding company earned $47.9 million (67 cents per share) in the fourth quarter, compared with $40.3 million (56 cents) in the fourth quarter of 2001. For the year, First Virginia earned $183.9 million ($2.55), compared with $164.5 million ($2.32) in 2001.

Core deposit growth fueled an overall increase in assets, which stood at $11.2 billion on Dec. 31, compared with $10.6 billion a year earlier. Total loans stood at $6.4 billion at year-end, compared with $6.5 billion a year earlier.

* Cardinal Financial Corp., a Fairfax-based banking company, said it earned $209,000 (1 cent per share) in the fourth quarter, compared with a loss of $10.5 million ($2.48) in the fourth quarter of 2001.

For the year, Cardinal lost $529,000 (13 cents), compared with a loss of $12.7 million ($3.11) in 2001. The company ended the year with $486.3 million in assets.