Stewart Announces First Quarter 2001 Results and All-Time Record Orders

Subscribe to RSS Feed
• What is RSS?

HOUSTON, April 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Stewart Information Services Corporation (NYSE-STC) reported net earnings for the three months ended March 31, 2001 of $3.1 million, compared to a loss of $3.4 million for the first quarter of 2000. On a diluted per share basis, net earnings were $.20 for the first quarter of 2001 compared to a loss of $.23 for the first quarter of 2000. Revenues in the first quarter increased 17 percent to $244 million from $208 million in the same period last year.

"Orders in the first three months of 2001 were more than 50 percent greater than one year ago and represented an all-time record for any quarter in the company's history,'' said Stewart Morris, Jr., co-chief executive officer and president. "March saw a particularly strong surge in orders as many customers sought to refinance their mortgages as interest rates declined. Much of our expense associated with orders is incurred as they are received, but we do not recognize revenues until the orders close and title policies are issued. We expect a substantial portion of our first quarter orders to close in the second quarter, which bodes well for strong operating results for that quarter.

"Multiple factors contributed to our profitability this first quarter, even though first quarters are historically weak. Careful management of costs, improvements in leadership at every level of organization and the influence of strategic acquisitions made in the past 12 months all positively impacted the bottom line. We also benefited from an environment of favorable interest rates with a corresponding surge in the refinance business,'' said Mr. Morris.

"Acquisitions have contributed significantly to our order-count growth,'' added Morris. "Recent acquisitions have been the largest in company history in both number of acquisitions and dollar value. To facilitate acquisitions, we filed a shelf registration this past quarter with the Securities and Exchange Commission to sell from time to time up to $75 million of common stock. The registration has not yet become effective, and this release does not constitute an offer of any securities for sale. Future acquisitions will continue to be consistent with our objective of completing transactions that are accretive to our earnings per share.''

"Commercial business continues to make an increasing contribution to our bottom line. Stewart's National Title Services (NTS) offices have grown to 18 locations across the country. NTS targets national and international affiliations and services multi-site commercial accounts as well as the nationwide relocation market,'' said Malcolm S. Morris, chairman of the board and co-chief executive officer.

"Our balance sheet remains strong, with the best financial ratings among the largest underwriters. LACE Title Rating Corporation again designated Stewart Title Guaranty Company as having the industry's largest Commercial Capacity Rating, reflecting our commitment to consistently increase the financial backing of our policies,'' added Morris. "Our balance sheet has expanded with an unprecedented industry record 26 years of growth in reserves and surplus. This reflects the company's commitment to our policyholders and remains a key element in growing our commercial market share.

"We have conducted a review of the profit and cost centers in the company, the results of which have enhanced the organization, management and profitability of many subsidiaries. We substantially reorganized our real estate information (REI) segment, and expanded and refined our product lines,'' Morris said.

The international operations of the company remain profitable and represents a small but increasing portion of revenues, with recent operation startups in Poland and the Dominican Republic. Stewart also has ongoing operations in Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica, the United Kingdom, Israel, Slovakia and the Caribbean.

"The industry continues to recognize our company as the technology leader. Stewart Morris, Jr. was recently named the recipient of Settlement Services Today's 2001 Outstanding Achievement Award in recognition of his accomplishment, leadership, creativity, and support for technological advancement in the settlement services industry,'' said Malcolm Morris.

"Over the last two years, we made a strategic decision to invest in the commercial area of our business, technology and new services. While we sacrificed short-term earnings, we positioned ourselves for long-term growth,'' said Morris. "While continuing to emphasize those same goals, we are now in a position to begin reaping the profits from those investments. We expect a strong performance in 2001.''

Stewart Information Services Corporation is a technology driven, strategically competitive, global real estate information company. Stewart provides title insurance and related information services through more than 5,400 issuing locations in the United States and several international markets. Stewart meets the needs of the real estate and mortgage industries through the delivery of information services required for settlement using e-commerce. These services include title reports, flood determinations, property appraisals, surveys, document preparation, property reports and background checks. Stewart also supplies post-closing services to lenders, automated county clerk land records and GIS for governmental entities. Stewart provides expertise in tax-deferred exchanges. More information about Stewart can be found at www.stewart.com.

###

Stewart Information Services Corporation

 

Three months
ended March 31

  2001

2000

Revenues $ 244,301,000

$ 208,203,000

Net earnings (loss) $3,073,000

$(3,354,000)

Average shares - diluted 15,268,000

14,811,000

Earnings (loss) per share:  


Basic $ 0.20

$(0.23)

Diluted $ 0.20

$(0.23)

STEWART INFORMATION SERVICES CORPORATION
STATEMENTS OF EARNINGS
(In thousands of dollars)
   
 
Three months ended
March 31
 
2001
2000
Revenues  


Title premiums, fees and other revenues 223,941

191,582

Real estate information services 14,462

12,199

Investment income 5,545

4,762

Investment gains (losses) - net 353

(340)

  244,301

208,203

     
Expenses  


Amounts retained by agents 101,044

90,839

Employee costs 79,352

68,674

Other operating expenses 42,150

39,061

Title losses 9,595

8,560

Depreciation and amortization 5,268

5,091

Interest 659

381

Minority interests 1,225

944

  239,293

213,550

     
Earnings (loss) before taxes 5,008

(5,347)

Income taxes (benefit) 1,935

(1,993)

Net earnings (loss) 3,073

(3,354)

     
Average number diluted shares (000) 15,268

14,811

     
Earnings per share - diluted .20

(.23)

     
Segment information:  


Title revenues 229,839

196,004

Title pretax earnings (loss) 4,345

(3,656)

     
REI revenues 14,462

12,199

REI pretax earnings (loss) 663

(1,691)

     
Selected financial information (000):  


Premiums earned from agents 123,722

112,995

Title loss payments - net 7,918

8,520

Change in unrealized investment gains  


(losses) - net of taxes 2,155

544

Average number basic shares 15,110

14,716

Number of title orders opened 155

101

     
STEWART INFORMATION SERVICES CORPORATION
BALANCE SHEETS (condensed)
(In thousands of dollars)
   
     
  March 31
2001

December 31
2000

Assets  


Cash and cash equivalents 44,985

35,728

Short-term investments 48,914

53,748

Investments - statutory reserve funds 212,548

206,150

Investments - other 48,750

52,242

Receivables 51,678

57,039

Property and equipment 44,753

45,459

Title plants 33,524

32,491

Goodwill 47,348

36,693

Deferred income taxes 7,318

7,352

Other 35,996

36,546

  575,814

563,448

     
Liabilities  


Notes payable 40,806

32,543

Accounts payable and accrued liabilities 33,086

38,617

Estimated title losses 191,725

190,298

Minority interests 7,129

6,901

     
Contingent liabilities and commitments  


Stockholders' equity    
Common and Class B Common Stock and
additional paid-in capital
87,404 84,563

 

Retained earnings 213,133

210,060

Accumulated other comprehensive earnings 4,043

1,888

Treasury stock (1,512)

(1,512)

     
Total stockholders' equity
($19.91 per share at March 31, 2001)
303,068 295,089

 

  575,814 535,741

 

April 26, 2001

 


click here to view 2014 news releases
click here to view 2013 archived news releases
click here to view 2012 archived news releases
click here to view 2011 archived news releases
click here to view 2010 archived news releases
click here to view 2009 archived news releases
click here to view 2008 archived news releases
click here to view 2007 archived news releases
click here to view 2006 archived news releases
click here to view 2005 archived news releases
click here to view 2004 archived news releases
click here to view 2003 archived news releases
click here to view 2002 archived news releases
click here to view 2001 archived news releases
click here to view 2000 archived news releases