LPS earns $70.7 million in fourth quarter
Mortgage technology provider Lender Processing Services (LPS) Thursday reported net earnings of $70.7 million or 78 cents per diluted share in the fourth quarter of 2010, down from $74.9 million or 77 cents per diluted share in the prior year's quarter. "LPS had a strong fourth quarter despite challenging conditions in the origination and default markets and a difficult macro-economic environment," said Lee Kennedy, executive chairman of LPS, who added that LPS is poised for strong growth in 2011. LPS reported consolidated revenues of $638.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2010, an increase of 5% from the $608 million in revenue during the fourth quarter of 2009. Total revenue for the year, the firm reports, was $2.456 billion, also higher than the $2.37 billion reported in 2009. "Our Loan Facilitation business posted record growth in a difficult market while our Default Services business continued to be impacted by a sluggish market environment," added Jeff Carbiener, CEO of LPS. "We continued to be disciplined and aggressive in our capital deployment strategy by repurchasing 7.4 million shares during 2010." During 2010, LPS paid down $40.1 million in debt. The company reported $188.3 million in revenue from its loan facilitation services department, an increase of 31.8% from the fourth quarter of 2009. "This result compared very favorably to the Mortgage Bankers Association's estimate of overall fourth quarter originations being lower by 24% compared to the same period last year and," said the earnings report, "this positive variance was primarily due to continued market share gains in our settlement services offerings." Revenues from the firm's default services department was $251.3 million, a 9.8% decline from the fourth quarter of 2009, driven by continued delays in foreclosure proceedings. "Building on the strong 2010 results, we expect first quarter 2011 adjusted earnings to be in the range of 81 to 84 cents per diluted share," said Carbiener. "For full year 2011, we expect adjusted earnings to be in the $3.74 to $3.81 per diluted share range." Write to Jacob Gaffney. Follow him on Twitter @JacobGaffney. The author holds no relevant investments.