|In its report of fourth quarter results, Cendant Corporation (NYSE: CD) announced last week that production loan closings from its mortgage segment were $5.835 billion for the period. This was thirty two percent higher than the same period last year, when production loan closings were $4.419 billion.
Mortgage revenues for the New York City company were $117.0 million during the quarter, up 41 percent from 1999. Earnings before non-operating interest, income taxes, depreciation, amortization and minority interest for the mortgage segment were $63 million, up 117% from the same quarter the prior year's $29 million.
In its announcement, the company said that Revenues from mortgage loans closed increased $25 million during the quarter resulting from strong mortgage origination growth and favorable production margins. Refinances were up seventy two percent, compared to purchases, which were up 28%. For the year, mortgage revenues were $423 million, up seven percent from 1999's $397 million.
The company also reported that loan servicing revenues increased primarily due to a $19 billion (38%) increase in the average servicing portfolio. It's average servicing loan portfolio for the quarter was $69.1 billion, compared to the same period in 1999, when it was $49.9 billion.
According to the press release, Cendant Mortgage ranked as the fourth largest retail mortgage lender by the National Mortgage News for third quarter 2000, the latest period for which data are available.
Cendant announced that during fourth quarter 2000 it entered into an expanded agreement with Merrill Lynch, under which Merrill Lynch will outsource its mortgage origination and servicing operations to Cendant beginning in January 2001. Merrill Lynch closed approximately $5 billion in retail purchase mortgages for the year ended December 31, 2000. Assuming Merrill Lynch's loan volume were part of Cendant's operating results for the full year 2000, the company believes it would have ranked as the second largest retail mortgage lender.