Industry News

Countrywide boosts third-quarter earnings

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Countrywide Financial today reported a third-quarter jump in profit of 27 percent, with increased mortgage servicing fees helping offset lower profit from lending as margins declined. Countrywide, the top U.S. mortgage lender by total volume for 2004, also lowered the high end of its 2005 earnings forecast. Countrywide now expects 2005 profit of $3.85 to $4.40 per share, compared with its July forecast of $3.85 to $4.60. Net income for Calabasas, Calif.-based Countrywide increased in the third quarter to $633.9 million, or $1.03 per share, from $498.1 million, or 81 cents, a year earlier. Results included a 19-cent-per-share charge related to Hurricane Katrina. "Countrywide's overall increase in profitability compared to the third quarter of 2004 was mostly attributable to the mortgage banking segment," said Angelo R. Mozilo, chairman and chief executive officer. Mortgage banking pre-tax income grew to $703 million compared to $496 million in last year's third quarter, an incr...