Industry News

Slowdown in title business hurts Fidelity’s earnings

Company responds by laying off 650 workers

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Fidelity National Financial saw third-quarter profits fall by 40 percent to $127.6 million, despite laying off 650 workers in its title division and revenue growth in its information services division. The slowdown in the housing market drove the drop in earnings, from $2.99 per share in the third quarter of 2005 to $2.02 in the latest quarter, said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer William P. Foley II. At the company's Fidelity National Title subsidiary, quarterly earnings fell 39 percent year-over-year, from $169.7 million in the third quarter of 2005 to $103.4 million in the latest quarter. But earnings at Fidelity National Information Services were up 36 percent, to $78.6 million. "The third quarter was one of transition for our title insurance business," Foley said. "The mix of business clearly shifted from a majority of purchase transactions toward more refinance transactions, which generate about half of the revenue of a purchase transaction." Fidelity National Title respo...