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Mortgage company PHH returns to yearly profit

Mon, 03/01/2010 - 9:30am
The Associated Press

Mortgage company PHH Corp. on Monday reported that it returned to a profit in the fourth-quarter as the company cut costs and the volume of its loans grew.

Shares jumped 11 percent as the company far exceeded Wall Street expectations.

The company reported that it earned $97 million, or $1.74 per share for the quarter compared with a loss of $216 million, or $3.98 per share, in the same quarter last year.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were looking for earnings around 81 cents per share.

The company more than tripled its revenue, which also surprised analysts.

"Our 2009 core earnings were a reflection of higher mortgage production volumes and margin improvement, as well as cost reductions in our businesses," said President and CEO Jerry Selitto.

Selitto said the mortgage business continues to feel the effect of foreclosures.

Yet it was a solid comeback for the year and the mortgage and fleet management services company said its revenue in 2009 grew to $2.6 billion, from $2.1 billion the year before.

Profit for the year was $153 million, or $2.77 per share, compared with a loss of $254 million, or $4.68 per share, in 2008.

Shares of the company, which is based in Mount Laurel, N.J., rose $1.98 to $20.49 in afternoon trading Monday.

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