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Freddie Loses $6.7bn in Q1, Calls on Treasury to Provide $10.6bn in Aid

[Update 2: includes additional earnings, accounting details] Freddie Mac (FRE) reported a $6.7bn Q110 net loss, widened from $6.5bn in the previous quarter. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), acting as Freddie’s conservator, requested $10.6bn in aid from the Treasury Department to cover the company’s $10.5bn net worth deficit. At the end of 2009, the company had a $4.4bn net worth. The request is part of the existing Senior Preferred Stock Purchase Agreement with the Treasury. Freddie attributed the deficit to a $11.7bn decrease in total equity due to the “adverse impact” of consolidating variable interest entities (VIEs). On Jan. 1, 2010, Freddie adopted new accounting standards related to transfers of financial assets and consolidation of VIEs. Financial Accounting Standards (FAS) 166 and 167 require certain assets held off-balance-sheet to come back onto financial firms’ balance sheets. Freddie warned that, because of the adoption of these accounting standards, the Q1 results are not comparable with previous quarters. “Our first quarter 2010 financial results were driven significantly by the required adoption of new accounting standards, along with continued weakness in the housing market,” said Ross Kari, Freddie chief financial officer, in a press statement. “Upon adoption of the new accounting standards we added $1.5trn of assets and liabilities to our balance sheet, and the cumulative effect of these changes was a one-time net decrease of $11.7bn to total equity. The impact on Freddie Mac was significant relative to others as the nature of our business model amplified the impact of these changes.” Freddie’s net interest income fell to $4.1bn, from $4.5bn the previous quarter, while the company trimmed its provision for credit losses to $5.4bn, from $7bn the previous quarter due to a “slower rate of credit deterioration.” Single-family net charge-offs rose to $2.8bn, from $2.4bn in Q409, due to an increase in foreclosure transfers. The total single-family delinquency rate rose 15 basis points to 4.13% at the end of Q1, from 3.98% at the end of Q409. Single-family non-performing assets including real estate owned (REO) and delinquent loans rose to $115bn, from $103bn in the previous quarter. This increase includes a high volume of loans subject to troubled debt restructuring accounting during the first quarter, Freddie said. Write to Diana Golobay.

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