Industry News

Profits rise at First American

Company credits real estate loan origination volume

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First American Corp., a provider of advanced property and ownership information, on Wednesday reported a rise in profit for the third quarter of 2005, aided by strong mortgage origination volume. "The company's positive performance was affected by strong mortgage origination volume, particularly from purchase activity, as well as our ongoing commitment to maximize operating efficiencies, reduce costs and improve market share," said Parker S. Kennedy, chairman and chief executive officer of The First American Corp., in a statement. Net income rose to $149.1 million, or $1.51 cents a share, from $107.2 million, or $1.17 a share, a year ago. Revenue rose 30.3 percent to $1.7 billion in the third quarter from $1.3 billion for the year ago. Home buyers are compensating for higher home prices by buying interest-only mortgages, which First American says now represent nearly a third of the market. The earnings handily beat Wall Street expectations. A group of analysts surveyed by Thom...