Online consumer-direct lender E-Loan's profit plunged from $5 million in the fourth quarter of 2002 to just to $200,000 in the fourth quarter of last year due to a rapid decline in the mortgage refinance business, the company said today. The lender also announced the resignation and replacement of president and COO Joe Kennedy. E-Loan CEO Chris Larsen said the company didn't anticipate the severity of the decline in refinance demand, industry over-capacity and intense price competition that resulted last quarter. All those factors produced a very rocky road for the lender. "We were not satisfied with our progress in transitioning to a post-refinance environment," Larsen said. "Looking forward, the company requires a new set of skills and experience to ensure that we fully optimize the level of cost efficiency and scalability our model is designed to achieve." Fourth-quarter revenue in 2003 declined 17 percent to $27.4 million compared with fourth-quarter revenue in 2002. Total ann...
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