Industry News

Earnings shrink at Stewart Title

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Stewart Information Services Corp. reported net earnings of $82.5 million, or $4.53 per share, for 2004, down 33.4 percent from the net earnings of $123.8 million, or $6.88 per share, reported for 2003, the company said today. Revenues for 2004 were $2.2 billion, a decrease of 2.5 percent compared to 2003, the company said. The title insurance giant reported earnings of $20.3 million, or $1.11 per share, for the fourth quarter of 2004, down 2.4 percent from $20.8 million, or $1.15 per share, in the comparable quarter of 2003. Book value per share increased 11.6 percent, from $34.47 at the end of 2003 to $38.48 at Dec. 31, 2004. Earlier this month, further consolidating the title insurance industry, Stewart acquired two title companies, one in Alaska and one in Florida. McKinley Title & Trust of Wasilla, Alaska, and Midwest Title of Naples, Fla., are now part of Stewart Title. Stewart also acquired Celebrity Escrow of Northridge, Calif., in November 2004. The company's stoc...