Industry News

Q4 loss puts First American in the red for 2007

Title insurer plans more layoffs in 2008

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First American Corp. said it lost $67.5 million and laid off 1,100 employees during the fourth quarter, as the company boosted loss reserves by $122.3 million against higher expected claims. The Santa Ana, Calif.-based title insurer and real estate information provider said it expects to lay off more workers and consolidate offices to cut costs as the credit crunch continues to weigh on real estate and mortgage markets. "While we are encouraged by an increase in title orders during January and February, we will continue our focus on aggressive expense reduction efforts throughout the entire organization," First American Chief Executive Officer Parker Kennedy said in a statement. First American, which announced last month it plans to spin its title insurance and related businesses off into a separate company (see Inman News story), said fourth-quarter revenues fell 14 percent from a year ago, to $1.9 billion. Revenues for the year were down 4 percent, to $8.2 billion, an...