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Fidelity may sell flood, homeowners insurance lines

Title insurance revenue down, losses up

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...