Cendant Corp. (NYSE: CD) on Wednesday reported record fourth-quarter 2003 earnings per share from continuing operations of $0.28, an increase of 17 percent from $0.24 in fourth quarter 2002.

Fourth-quarter net income rose to $288 million, up 17 percent from $247 million same quarter last year.

The company reported record full-year 2003 earnings per share from continuing operations of $1.41, versus $1.01 in 2002, an increase of 40 percent.

Full-year net income hit $1.46 billion, up 39 percent from 2002’s $1.05 billion.

Fourth-quarter net revenue was $4.35 billion, up 12 percent from 2002’s fourth-quarter figure of $3.87 billion.

Full-year 2003 revenue was $18.19 billion, up 28 percent from 2002’s $14.18 billion.

Revenue from the company’s real estate services division was $1.59 billion in the fourth quarter, up 6 percent from $1.5 billion the same quarter in 2002.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, or EBITA, climbed 7 percent in the fourth quarter to $257 million in the company’s real estate services division.

Revenue and EBITDA were positively impacted by strong organic growth in real estate franchise royalties and real estate brokerage commissions earned by NRT. Real estate franchise royalty and marketing fund revenue increased 14 percent, primarily due to a 10 percent increase in home-sale transactions and a 10 percent increase in average price.

Revenue generated by Cendant’s NRT real estate brokerage business increased 10 percent organically, primarily due to increases in home-sale transactions and average price. As expected, the revenue and EBITDA growth from increased home-sale activity was offset by lower mortgage production volume and compressed margins on securitized loan sales, partially mitigated by increased net revenue from mortgage servicing activities, as mortgage refinancing activity declined year-over-year.

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