The mortgage technology and services provider ""Lender Processing Services"":http://www.lpsvcs.com (LPS) turned a $74.9 million profit in the fourth quarter, or 77 cents per share.[IMAGE]
The Jacksonville, Florida-based company attributed its success to record improvements in its loan facilitation business, as well as solid demand for its default services as lenders continue to seek out efficiencies to handle a still-growing number of defaults and foreclosures. New ""research released last week"":http://dsnews.comarticles/mortgage-delinquency-rate-surpasses-10-lps-2010-02-04 by the company showed that the national delinquency rate has hit an all-time high 10 percent.
""LPS had a strong fourth quarter despite challenging market conditions and a fragile macro-economic environment,"" said Lee A. Kennedy, executive chairman of LPS. Kennedy added that given its market presence and unique technology, the company remains well positioned to see further growth in 2010.[COLUMN_BREAK]
Full year 2009 revenues of $2.4 billion were a solid 29 percent above 2008, the company reported, while net earnings of $275.7 million in 2009 compared to $230.9 million in the prior year.
Adjusted net earnings for full year 2009 of $300.3 million were a record 30.2 percent higher than pro forma adjusted net earnings in 2008, LPS said in its ""earnings announcement."":http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=222167&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1385152&highlight During 2009, the company also paid down $262 million in debt.
Mortgage processing revenues of $104.2 million in Q4 were 17.9 percent above the fourth quarter of 2008, primarily due to the addition of the JPMorgan Chase portfolio onto LPS' servicing platform, the company said.
Revenues for the loan facilitation services of $142.9 million were up 70.3 percent compared to the prior year quarter, primarily due to higher settlement services and increased appraisal volumes, LPS explained.
Thanks to growth in the default market and a gain in market share, the company's default services revenues of $278.6 million increased 14.3 percent over the fourth quarter of 2008.
""Building on the strong 2009 results, we expect first quarter 2010 adjusted earnings to be in the range of 78-80 cents per diluted share,"" said Jeff Carbiener, president and CEO. ""For full year 2010, we expect revenues to grow 8-10 percent compared to 2009 and adjusted earnings to be in the $3.49-$3.56 per diluted share range.""