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Fidelity may sell flood, homeowners insurance lines

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Fidelity National Financial Inc. is looking to sell its flood and personal lines of insurance to maintain the company's $1.20 annual dividend to shareholders, fund a stock repurchase program, and pay down debt. Fidelity said the two businesses -- fee-for-service flood insurance and traditional homeowners, automobile and other personal lines of insurance -- generated $333 million in revenue in 2007 and are "an attractive acquisition opportunity for strategic buyers." The Jacksonville, Fla.-based company said it does not plan to put a third specialty insurance line, home warranties, up for sale. In a separate announcement, the company said first-quarter operating revenue was $1.14 billion, down 17 percent from $1.37 billion a year ago. Net earnings fell 67 percent to $27.2 million. The title insurance group reported $1 billion in revenue, down 19 percent from a year ago, while pre-tax earnings fell 53 percent to $54 million. Fidelity paid out $76 million in title...