Old Republic 2Q Earnings Fall

July 31, 2007

Associated Press

Old Republic International Corp., an insurance company, said Thursday its second-quarter earnings fell 9 percent, mostly on rising claims in its mortgage guaranty division and falling volume in its title insurance unit.

Old Republic second-quarter earnings fell to $115.1 million, or 49 cents per share, from $126.6 million, or 54 cents per share, during the same quarter a year ago.

Analysts polled by Thomson Financial, on average, forecast earnings of 45 cents per share for the quarter.

Despite 13-percent year-over-year growth to $125 million in mortgage guaranty premiums written, the division's operating income shrank 42 percent to $36.8 million because of rising claims. Old Republic's mortgage guaranty division was hit by a growing number of claims related to defaulting loans.

Slowing home sales was the culprit as Old Republic's title insurance business saw a decline in profits. The company's title insurance business reported operating income of $3.6 million, down from $12.1 million during the same quarter a year ago.

Shares of Old Republic fell 58 cents, or 2.9 percent, to $19.33 in afternoon trading. Shares hit a new 52-week low of $18.95 earlier in the day. Old Republic shares had traded between $19.72 and $23.74.

Coopyright 2007 Associated Press

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North American Title Insurance Company (NATIC) is a seasoned title insurance underwriter, helping title agents to achieve their individual business goals for more than 50 years. Today, the company conducts real estate settlement services in 39 states and the District of Columbia through a network of experienced, independent agents.