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 stock was trading at $41.56a share, down 36 cents a share, around 11 a.m. on Wednesday.

***

Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to janis@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 140.

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