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MGIC boosts revenue, raises capital in Q1

Mortgage insurer struggles to keep ratings

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The parent company of Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp. lost $34.4 million in the first quarter, but investors were cheered that revenues grew 14.7 percent from a year ago, to $423.9 million, and that the company is raising capital to restore the financial strength rating it needs to continue writing new insurance. New insurance written in the first quarter by MGIC totaled $19.1 billion, up 50.4 percent from $12.7 billion a year ago, the company said in a regulatory filing. Persistency -- the percentage of insurance remaining in force from a year ago -- also increased to 77.5 percent as of March 31, compared with 70.3 percent at the same time last year. Although parent company MGIC Investment Corp. posted a loss of 41 cents per share for the quarter -- compared with earnings of $1.12 per share in the first quarter of 2007 -- investors welcomed the better-than-projected increase in revenue, sending the company's share price up more than 15 percent in midday trading. MGIC...