PHH Corp. (PHH) earnings jumped in the first quarter as the bank boosted profits in its mortgage originations business.

The New Jersey bank earned $75 million, or $1.32 a share, up 26% from the same period last year. Revenue at the entire bank increased 16.8% to $777 million from $665 million last year. Analysts estimated earnings at 77 cents a share, according to Thomason Reuters.

Home loan closings increased 1% to $13.9 billion in the first quarter from $13.8 billion one year ago.

“The mortgage originations environment remains favorable with low mortgage interest rates and priced-in margins the widest we have seen in some time. Volumes in our retail mortgage origination channels remained at robust levels,” said PHH CEO Glen Messina.

Messina said margins in mortgage origination were the widest the bank has seen in some time.

The PHH mortgage business reported $117 million in profit, more than double the earnings for the segment last year and up 36% from the previous quarter. The bank did bring in $52 million in sales of its Speedy Title and Appraisal Review Services.

jprior@housingwire.com

@JonAPrior

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