Fidelity National 2Q Profit Falls 14%

July 27, 2005

Fidelity National Second-Quarter Profit Falls, but Beats Analyst Projections

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- Fidelity National Financial Inc reported second-quarter profit fell on lower direct title premiums written during the period, but results still surpassed Wall Street projections.

Quarterly income fell to $190 million, or $1.07 per share, from $222.1 million, or $1.26 per share, last year. Revenue rose 10.4 percent to $2.43 billion from $2.2 billion last year.

On average, analysts polled by Thomson Financial expected earnings of 94 cents per share on revenue of $2.17 billion.

Higher revenue was offset by higher expenses. With more policies being written by agents, the company paid out more in commissions. Personnel costs also rose, and Fidelity National paid out more in claims for the quarter.

Total title and escrow revenue was $1.63 billion, up from $1.58 billion last year. Direct title premiums were $583 million for the second quarter, down from $601 million last year. Escrow and other title related fees were $299 million versus $295 million in the year-ago period.

Agency title premiums were $750 million for the second quarter, up from last year's $680 million.

"Order volumes were very strong in the second quarter, as we opened nearly 1 million orders," said President Randy Quirk in a statement. "Open order volumes accelerated as the quarter progressed and the commercial business continues to show strength, providing solid momentum across our title insurance business as we enter the third quarter."

Source: Fidelity National Information Services

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