Industry News

Acquisition, slow housing market hurt LandAmerica profits

Merger with Capital Title boosts market share to 19.5 percent

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LandAmerica Financial Group Inc. reported fourth quarter profits fell 42.6 percent, to $34.3 million, because of a slowdown in home sales and costs related to its acquisition of Capital Title Group Inc. At $1.95, earnings per share still beat analysts' expectations of $1.76, Reuters reported. Net income for the year was $98.8 million or $5.61 per share, down from $165.6 million or $9.29 per share in 2005. LandAmerica Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Theodore L. Chandler, Jr. said the Sept. 8 acquisition of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Capital Title increased the company's national market share to 19.5 percent in the third quarter 2006, and strengthened its presence in western states. LandAmerica estimated its market share in the third quarter of 2005 at 18.2 percent. "We remain confident in our ability to realize synergies from Capital Title, which are now expected to generate annual cost savings of approximately $16 million beginning in 2007," Chandler said. Operating revenue from ag...