A.M. Best Upgrades Ratings of Fidelity National Financial Group’s Title Companies; Revises Outlook to Stable
|June 14, 2007|
OLDWICK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A.M. Best Co. has upgraded the financial strength rating (FSR) to A (Excellent) from A- (Excellent) and the issuer credit ratings (ICR) to “a” from “a-” of Fidelity National Financial Group’s (Fidelity) (Jacksonville, FL) eight title insurance subsidiaries. In addition, A.M. Best has upgraded the ICR to “bbb” from “bbb-” of the parent holding company, Fidelity National Financial, Inc. (Jacksonville, FL) [NYSE: FNF]. The outlook for all ratings has been revised to stable from positive.
The ratings reflect Fidelity’s solid capitalization, favorable operating results, strong market profile as one of the largest title insurance groups in the United States and significantly reduced financial leverage at the holding company.
These positive rating factors are somewhat offset by Fidelity’s challenge to manage future economic cycles and inherent risks with managing significant premium growth in recent years. Additionally, the slowdown in the U.S. housing markets in 2006 continuing into 2007 have the potential of negatively impacting title insurance underwriting margins. However, Fidelity does possess a flexible cost structure, which is expected to help mitigate this effect.
Fidelity’s rating outlook is based on the title group’s solid capitalization, favorable operating earnings and leading market position.
The FSR of A- (Excellent) has been upgraded to A (Excellent) and the ICRs of “a-” have been upgraded to “a” for the following members of Fidelity National Financial Group:
The ICR of “bbb-” has been upgraded to “bbb” for Fidelity National Financial, Inc.
The FSR of A- (Excellent) and the ICRs of “a-” have been affirmed for the following property/casualty members of Fidelity National Group:
For Best’s Ratings, an overview of the rating process and rating methodologies, please visit www.ambest.com/ratings.
Source: A.M. Best Company