Industry News

Fidelity National Financial profits drop

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First-quarter profits at title insurer Fidelity National Financial Inc. were down 15.6 percent from the same quarter last year, to $83.4 million, or 37 cents per share, the company said. That compares with $98.8 million, or 45 cents per share, in the first quarter of 2006, after adjusting last year's results to exclude the results of former subsidiary Fidelity National Information Services Inc., which was spun off into an independent company. Fidelity National Financial's main business, title insurance and escrow, generated $1.25 billion in revenue during the first quarter, down from $1.39 billion last year. Fidelity National Title Group's pretax earnings totaled $114.8 million, down 13.4 percent from the same quarter last year. Direct orders closed during the first quarter fell 10.5 percent to 390,400 compared to last year, and the closing percentage also slipped from 64 percent to 60 percent. Fidelity National Financial's title insurance underwriters -- Fidelity National Title, Chica...