First Quarter Earnings Remain Positive
Tuesday, May 15, 2018
The title insurance group of Old Republic International generated pre-tax income of $29.5 million during the first quarter of 2018. This is down from $40.4 million reported during the same period a year ago. Year-over-year comparisons of revenues from title premiums and fees reflected relatively flat volume reported by independent agents, and a small decline for directly-produced business. Claims cost increased 17.4 percent during the latest quarter, the result of lower favorable development of prior years' claim reserves in the first quarter of 2018. In addition, the ratio of general expenses to premiums and fees rose in the first quarter largely due to rising salaries and associated benefit expenses.
The title insurance and services division of First American Financial generated $102.4 million in pre-tax income during the first quarter of 2018. This compares to $98.2 million in pre-tax during the same period in 2017. Provisions for claims was unchanged from Q1 2017. Personnel expenses increased during the first quarter due to recent acquisitions, according to First American.
- Fidelity National Financial
Fidelity National Financial reported that its title segment generated pre-tax earnings of $163 million during the first quarter of 2018. This compares to pre-tax earnings of $151 million during the same period a year ago. Claims paid during the latest quarter were $51 million, the same amount in Q1 2017. First quarter purchase orders opened and closed increased by 4% and decreased by 1%, respectively, versus the first quarter of 2017
Total commercial revenue increased 3% over the first quarter of 2017, while the overall first quarter average fee per file of $2,344, a 9% increase versus the first quarter of 2017
- Stewart Information Services
The title segment of Stewart generated $5.1 million in pre-tax income during the first quarter of 2018. This compares to pre-tax income of $12.3 million during the same period a year ago. In Q1 the title segment reported $2.2 million of net unrealized losses relating to changes in fair value of investments in equity securities, which were previously accounted for in other comprehensive income, but are now recorded in net income due to the adoption of a new accounting standard at the beginning of 2018. Stewart reported that it saw lower homes sales and weaker refinancing volumes while its commercial business outperformed expectations by growing 12%. Stewart paid $19 million in claims during the first quarter of 2018, down slightly from $20.7 million in claims paid during the first quarter of 2017.