First American Title Insurance Company posted a $9.3 million profit in the fourth-quarter. Shares of First American were up on Wallstreet about 4% after the announcement. While a small profit, it shows that overhead and expenses have been brought in line with current revenues.
During a tough year for the title insurance industry, First American Title was forced to cut 1,210 additional workers during the fourth quarter, bringing First American’s cuts to 4,100 in 2008, or about 11% of its staff. Additionally, as would be expected, it reported that revenue for an average title order was down to $1,462, 19% lower than the year before, reflecting significantly reduced sale prices. In spite of that, it made a profit.
More good news: First American reported that it
”is starting to see an increase in title insurance thanks to low mortgage rates” and is “encouraged by the federal government’s efforts to shore up the housing market. “
As the fourth quarter is usually a slower time of year for sales and refinances, we hope the announcement is a harbinger of things to come this spring.
See more at the Orange County, CA Business Journal.