Chapel Hill’s Investors Title posts lower net income

Investors Title, which issues and underwrites title insurance policies, posted narrower net income and lower revenue in the fourth quarter.

However, revenue for all of 2015 hit a new record, rising 3.3 percent.

The Chapel Hill company, which announced its fourth-quarter results before the markets opened Wednesday, said revenue for the quarter fell 9.6 percent to $28.9 million. The company attributed the decline to lower premiums written by its Texas operations, which was partially offset by growth elsewhere.

Still, Chairman J. Allen Fine said in a prepared statement that revenue “held up well, considering potential impacts of the new federally mandated disclosure requirements that went into effect during the quarter, as well as the Fed’s first rate hike in almost a decade.”

Net income for the fourth quarter fell 18.5 percent to $2.2 million, or $1.12 per share.

Title insurance protects against losses arising from ownership disputes. The market for title insurance typically rises and falls based on the health of the housing market and refinancing activity. Investors Title also manages investments for individuals and businesses.

For all of 2015, revenue totaled $127.2 million, up from $123.1 million in 2014. Net income rose 29.9 percent to $12.5 million, or $6.30 per share.

Investors Title shares were trading at $87.66, up 66 cents, Wednesday morning. The company’s shares have fallen 12 percent this year.