The First American Corp., one of the nation’s largest data providers, today reported fourth-quarter earnings of $86.1 million, or 93 cents per diluted share, down from $94.1 million, or $1.07 per diluted share, during the same period the previous year.

Quarterly revenue was $1.8 billion, up from $1.6 billion the previous year.

Net income for all of 2004 was $364.8 million, down from $451 million in 2003. Total revenue for the year was $6.72 billion, up from $6.21 billion in 2003.

Fourth-quarter revenue for company’s Financial Services Group was $1.4 billion, up from $1.21 billion the previous year. Fourth-quarter revenue for First American’s Information Technology Group was $404.3 million, up from $394.7 million the previous year.

“With a slowdown in refinance transactions, the residential resale and new-home sale markets remained at record levels throughout the year. Improved operating efficiencies, coupled with market share improvement in all of the company’s business segments, enhanced the company’s overall performance,” said Parker S. Kennedy, CEO of The First American Corp.

He added, “In the fourth quarter, new order activity in the company’s direct title operations increased 26 percent over the comparable period in the prior year. This surge of activity will bode well for our first quarter 2005 results.”

The First American Corp. is a Fortune 500 company that provides data to businesses and consumers. The company’s business segments include Title Insurance and Services, Specialty Insurance, Mortgage Information, Property Information, Credit Information and Screening Information.

First American has 30,000 employees in approximately 1,800 offices throughout the United States and abroad.

First American shares (NYSE: FAF) traded at $35.95 Wednesday morning.

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