Stewart Information Services Corp. posted record revenues in the second quarter and strong gains in earnings, the company announced today.
Revenues for the three-month period ended June 30, 2005, were $651 million, the highest in the company’s history, and an increase of 15 percent over the $565 million reported in the same period last year.
Second-quarter net earnings were $37.2 million, or $2.04 per diluted share, up 24 percent from a year ago when earnings totaled $30 million, or $1.65 per diluted share.
Total revenues for the first half of 2005 were $1.2 billion, up 13 percent from the same period a year ago. Earnings for the first six months totaled $47.9 million, or $2.63 per diluted share, up 16.5 percent from $41.1 million, or $2.26 per diluted share, reported for the first six months of 2004.
Order counts for the quarter and the month ended June 30, 2005, were up 9 percent and 22 percent, respectively, from the same periods a year ago, adjusted for the number of working days.
The increase in revenues and transactions handled in the second quarter of 2005 over the same period in 2004 resulted primarily from a lower interest-rate environment. The company’s pretax profit margin percentage also increased. Acquisitions made by the company since the second quarter of 2004 contributed to the higher profit margin. Employee costs and other expenses increased at rates less than the increase in revenues, also improving the margin. While technology costs could have been maintained at previous levels, the company believes its on-going investment in technology provides potential for growth in its future profits, productivity and market share.
“Low interest rates, a robust economy and strong demographic demand all contributed to setting record housing sales and commercial property transactions,” said Malcolm S. Morris, co-chief executive officer and chairman of the board. “Our commercial title operations continue posting impressive growing revenues and profitability.
The company’s stock was trading at $45.75 this morning.
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