Private mortgage insurance provider MGIC Investment Corp. (NYSE:MTG) reported third-quarter net income of $134.1 million, up 28 percent from $105.1 million for the same quarter a year ago. Diluted earnings per share climbed to $1.36 in the third quarter, compared to $1.06 for the same quarter a year ago.

Net income for the first nine months was $418.7 million, up 7.4 percent from $390 million for the same period last year. For the first nine months of 2004, diluted earnings per share was $4.25 compared with $3.94 last year, a 7.9 percent increase.

Curt S. Culver, president and chief executive officer of MGIC Investment Corp. and Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp., said in a company statement that earnings were higher for the quarter due to a decrease in credit losses, increased contributions from joint ventures, and lower expenses. As expected, earned premiums continued to decline, reflecting the 6 percent decrease of insurance in force from one year ago.

Total revenues for the third quarter were $391 million, down 8.5 percent from $427.4 million in the third quarter of 2003. The decrease in revenues resulted from a 6.5 percent decline in net premiums earned to $324.2 million and a decrease in other revenues. Net premiums written for the quarter were $320.8 million, compared with $346.6 million in the third quarter last year, a decrease of 7.4 percent.

New insurance written in the third quarter was $18 billion, down 36 percent from $28 billion in the third quarter of 2003. New insurance written for the quarter included $6 billion of bulk business compared with $7.3 billion in the same period last year. New insurance written in the first nine months of 2004 was $47.1 billion, down 39 percent from $77.5 billion for the same period last year, and includes $11 billion of bulk business compared to $20.6 billion in the same period last year.

The percentage of third-quarter loans that were delinquent, excluding bulk loans, rose to 3.8 percent from 3.76 percent during the same quarter last year.

Third-quarter losses at the company fell to $169.8 million from $220.7 million reported for the same period last year due to a decrease in the delinquency inventory. Underwriting expenses were $69.7 million in the third quarter, down from $77.7 million reported for the same period last year due to decreases in underwriting volumes.

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