Industry News

First American reports lower Q4 earnings

Profits down 11%

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The First American Corp., which owns title and other specialty insurance businesses, today reported lower fourth-quarter earnings. Fourth-quarter profits in 2006 were $104 million, down 11 percent from $116 million during the same quarter in 2005. Revenues were $2.2 billion, a 2 percent decline from the same quarter a year earlier. Net income fell 40 percent to $287.7 million in 2006 from $480.4 million in 2005. Revenues were up 5 percent for the full year at $8.5 billion. The company faced a number of challenges in 2006, said Parker Kennedy, chairman and CEO, including a slowdown in the real estate market, home-price depreciation and increased industry regulation. Kennedy said this year the company will focus on integration, organic growth, building scale in selected businesses and expense management. "Our approach to acquisitions will be very selective and focused on businesses and markets with high expected growth rates," he said. First American's title insurance segment suffe...