Stewart Announces Record Results for Fourth Quarter and Year 2001
|February 14, 2002|
HOUSTON, /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Stewart Information Services Corporation (NYSE: STC) reported results for the fourth quarter and year ended 2001. For the fourth quarter of 2001, Stewart's revenues and net earnings were the highest of any quarter in the history of the company. Orders for the quarter were also an all-time high. For the year 2001, revenues and net earnings were also the highest of any year in the company's history.
Stewart earned $17.2 million, or $.96 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2001 compared to earnings of $0.3 million, or $.02 per diluted share, for the fourth quarter of 2000. Revenues increased 42 percent to $374.3 million.
Revenues for the year 2001 were $1,271.6 million, a 36 percent increase from 2000. Net earnings for the year 2001 were $48.7 million, or $2.98 per diluted share, as compared to earnings of $0.6 million, or $.04 per diluted share, for 2000.
"Despite the disruption to the national economy caused by the tragedy of September 11, real estate continues to produce impressive sales and construction levels. We are very pleased with our earnings performance during 2001," said Malcolm S. Morris, chairman of the board and co-chief executive officer. "We intend to build on our performance, continuing to focus on profits and return on equity.
"Most important in today's world, our company has a sound balance sheet, conservative financial management and impressive national market share growth. Stewart's achievements and investment value were recognized by the financial community with our inclusion on Forbes Platinum 400 list of America's best performing big companies for 2002 -- in which we topped the entire insurance category with the best five-year compounded annual earnings per share growth rate."
"Stewart came out of 2001 bigger, better and stronger, and our record profits and revenues reflect that. We enjoyed a record year in our REI segment," said Stewart Morris Jr., president and co-chief executive officer. "Our acquisition strategy over the past three years has been and for the foreseeable future will be to focus on strategically located title agencies in markets with high growth potential. Stewart's cutting edge technology supports our office network by increasing productivity and providing more and better services to customers, while reducing cost per file. It has set the pace for innovation in the title industry.
"The outlook for our core market in real estate sales and construction is positive for 2002. Although Fannie Mae is forecasting a 10 percent reduction in one-to-four family lending in 2002, that is based primarily on a reduction in refinance activity. While interest rate cycles will continue to fluctuate, we remain confident in our ability to manage costs and continue to grow market share regardless of interest rate levels."
Source: Stewart Information Services Corporation