Cendant Corp. Monday announced record first quarter earnings of 42 cents per share, 40 percent higher than the 30 cents per-share earnings the corporation reported in first quarter of 2003.


Cendant’s totals exceeded its previous earnings expectation, announced in late March, of 41 cents per share, and its prior projection of 37-38 cents per share.


“We are very encouraged by our first-quarter performance,” Henry R. Silverman, Cendant CEO, president and chairman of the board, said in a statement. “Improving travel trends and continued strength in residential real estate, coupled with superb execution by our management team, enabled our business units to outperform our original expectations, and to overcome a significant negative year-over-year comparison in our Mortgage Services segment.”


Cendant’s stock, traded on the New York Stock Exchange, has increased in value from $12.68 to $25.05 per share in the past year.


Cendant’s real estate franchise and operations group, which includes the company’s franchise brands, brokerage operations and relocation services, posted $1.16 in revenue in the first quarter 2004, a 17 percent gain from $985 million reported in the first quarter of 2003.


When coupled with first quarter revenue totals for Cendant’s Mortgage Services segment, which includes mortgage and settlement services, that increase drops to 2.9 percent, or from about $1.36 billion in first quarter 2003 to about $1.39 billion in 2004.


The Real Estate Franchise and Operations segment is projected to bring in revenue of about $5.85 billion to $6 billion for the full year, or about 11-14 percent higher than the $5.26 billion in revenue achieved in 2003.


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