Genworth Financial profits down 53%
Life and mortgage insurer Genworth Financial (GNW) experienced a 53% profit decline in the first quarter as it lost the momentum of a $106 million non-recurring tax benefit recorded in the same period last year. Overall, Genworth posted a profit of $82 million, or 17 cents per share. That is down from last year's first-quarter profit of $178 million, or 36 cents per share, and under analyst estimates of earnings in the 21 cent-per-share range for the period. At the same time, revenue increased slightly from $2.4 billion in the first quarter of 2010 to $2.56 billion this year. In quarter one, the insurance firm's U.S. mortgage insurance business continued to struggle, reporting a deeper $81 million net operating loss as delinquent loans aged, the firm said. On a more positive note, total delinquencies on insured loans fell seven percent when compared to the first quarter of 2010, which means fewer new delinquencies are coming into the system, Genworth said. The mortgage insurer said loss mitigation activities resulted in $122 million in savings during the quarter—a decline from the fourth quarter of 2010. The company attributes this drop to a slowing in certain loan modifications and an ongoing shift from the federal government's Home Affordable Modification Program to alternative loss mitigation programs. Write to Kerri Panchuk.