Massachusetts Agencies

Manager's Corner

Articles from The Massachusetts Focus

Newsletter of Stewart Title Guaranty Company, Massachusetts Offices
Fall 2004, Volume 3, Number 4

Manager's Corner
by Thomas M. Flynn, Vice President and New England Division Manager

S & P Affirms Stewart Title's 'A-' Ratings

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has affirmed its 'A-' counter party credit and financial strength ratings on Stewart Title Guaranty Co. The outlook remains stable.

The ratings are based on the company's very strong capitalization, status as a core operation of a strong holding company, strong marker position and very strong operation performance. Partially offsetting these strengths are the cyclical and highly competitive nature of the title insurance industry. 

Stewart Reports Earnings for Second Quarter

Stewart Information Services Corporation (NYSE-STC) reported net earnings of $30.0 million for the three months ended June 30, 2004, versus net earnings of $41.0 million for the second quarter of 2003. Revenues in the second quarter increased 1 percent to $565 million from $558 million in the same period last year.

Total revenues for the first half of 2004 were $1.0 billion, up 3 percent from the same period a year ago. Earnings for the first six months totaled $41.1 million versus $60.9 million for the first six months of 2003. 

House Price Index Shows Largest One-Year Increase Since the 1970's

According to the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, the average U.S. home prices increased 9.36 percent from the second quarter of 2003 through the second quarter of 2004. Appreciation for the most recent quarter was 2.21 percent, or an annualized rate of 8.83 percent. The appreciation over the past year is the largest four quarter increase since 1979; the data suggests no signs of the long anticipated slowing of house price inflation.