Industry News

Countrywide boosts profits despite falling loan volume

Loan servicing helps keep lender profitable

Countrywide Financial Corp. managed to boost profits by 27 percent in the second quarter of 2006 despite rising interest rates and a 3 percent decline in loan volume, the company announced today. The Calabasas, Calif.-based lender reported earnings of $722 million for the quarter, up 27 percent from 2005. That brought earnings per share to $1.15, up 25 percent from the same quarter last year. Total loan fundings were down 3 percent to $118 billion. Countrywide shares were trading at $38.76 Tuesday afternoon, down 1.5 percent from $39.35 at the close of trading Monday. Countrywide reports it has $65 billion in mortgage loan applications in the pipeline, is introducing new products including reverse mortgages, and is originating new loans with production sales force of more than 16,000 people. With its $195 billion balance sheet and high investment grade credit ratings, "we are well positioned to be a beneficiary over the long term in this consolidating market," said Chairman and CEO...