Investors Title posts lower revenue, profit

08/04/2014 2:53 PM

08/04/2014 2:54 PM

Investors Title, the Chapel Hill company that issues and underwrites title insurance policies, reported lower second-quarter revenue and profit as fewer homeowners refinanced their mortgages.

Net income fell 15.8 percent to $3.4 million, or $1.65 per share, compared to a year earlier. Revenue slipped 1.4 percent to $33.2 million.

“As expected, the drop in refinance activity which began late last year led to a reduction in premium volumes for the second quarter,” J. Allen Fine, the company’s chairman, said in a statement. “We are, however, pleased to see sustained increases in the level of home prices, coupled with continued strength in home purchase activity.”

Providing title insurance, which protect against losses arising from ownership disputes, typically rises and falls based on the health of the housing market, including refinanced mortgages. Many lenders require homeowners to obtain title insurance.

Investors Title also manages investments for individuals and businesses.

Operating expenses rose 2.6 percent in the quarter, which the company said was primarily due to an increase in agent commissions in certain markets where the housing and refinancing markets enjoyed increased activity.

Investors Title released its second-quarter results Monday morning before the markets opened. Its shares were trading at $68.56, down 43 cents, mid-afternoon Monday. The company’s shares have fallen 15 percent this year.

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