Real estate giant Cendant Corp. has raised its projected first-quarter and full-year earnings per share from continuing operations. The first-quarter earnings are projected at 41 cents per share, up from 37-38 cents, and the full-year earnings per share are projected to be $1.68-$1.74, up from a former projection of $1.65-$1.72.

The projections include a one-time tax benefit of 10 cents per share. Cendant will begin, as of this first quarter, to report the results of its mortgage and settlement services business separately from its real estate services segment.

“As we have previously indicated, the year over year comparisons for the new mortgage and settlement services segment are the most challenging in the first quarter of 2004,” said Ronald L. Nelson, Cendant CFO. “However, the strength of the remainder of our portfolio of businesses has enabled us to increase our guidance for the first quarter as well as the full year 2004.”

According to a company statement, Cendant plans to announce first-quarter results after the close of trading on April 19. Cendant, based in New York City, has about 90,000 employees and offers services in about 100 nations.

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