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|Countrywide Funds $17.5 Billion in December, A New All-Time Record
CALABASAS, Calif., Jan. 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/-- Countrywide Credit Industries, Inc. (NYSE: CCR), a diversified financial services provider, released operational data for the month ended December 31, 2001. "Countrywide delivered another exceptional funding month in December," noted Stanford L. Kurland, chief operating officer. "Total loan fundings reached a record $17.5 billion in December, an increase of 181 percent from December last year. Average daily loan applications were $797 million, an increase of 89 percent from last year. The pipeline of loans-in-process was over $22 billion, a gain of 124 percent over last December.
"Mortgage rates have increased since their historic lows in November," Kurland continued. "Countrywide's macro-hedge strategy is designed to sustain our performance during these types of rate shifts. Production volumes are ultimately expected to decline from unprecedented highs established recently. However, our servicing sector is designed to produce growing earnings from our record $337 billion portfolio as servicing margins increase due to higher rates.
"Our long-term strategic focus in our production sector has always been the home purchase market," Kurland added. "This focus is due to the consistent growth in consumer demand for purchase loans. The MBA purchase application index is currently at an all-time record. Countrywide's home purchase fundings surpassed $6 billion in December, were 39 percent higher than last year, and nearly matched the all-time record set in August. Purchase applications month-to-date in January are running 8 percent higher than our average for calendar 2001, a record-breaking year. The home purchase market remains robust despite the winter months customarily marking the bottom of the seasonal trough.
"While higher mortgage rates will result in reduced refinance activity, Countrywide's business model and operational strategy were designed to contemplate this event. First, our production sector has a flexible cost structure that utilizes significant temporary help to meet peak demand as well as largely variable compensation for our sales force. Secondly, we offer counter-cyclical loan products, such as home equity loans, which are already enjoying increased demand. Fundings of highly profitable home equity loans are up 82 percent over last year at $712 million. Furthermore, our large $22 billion pipeline of applications in process will produce significant funding volume that still needs to be processed. Total average daily applications so far in January are 5 percent ahead of last month, which indicates production activity still remains robust today.
"Our low coupon servicing portfolio reached a record $337 billion in December. While prepayment speeds remained high, we successfully grew the portfolio in December faster than normal as production exceeded prepayments by $6 billion. Higher mortgage rates will result in lower prepayment speeds and slower amortization of our mortgage servicing rights and, accordingly, higher servicing earnings.
"Carrier monthly net written premiums in the insurance group were $35 million for December 2001, a 13 percent increase over last December. Agency annual premiums on policies-in-force also reached a new milestone this month, hitting $270 million, a gain of 24 percent over last December's $218 million. Policies-in-force advanced 14 percent year over year to 566,000 for December 2001.
"Countrywide Capital Markets, our investment banking subsidiary, has nearly doubled its trading volume on a year-over-year basis with December 2001 volumes at $126 billion -- exceeding $1.5 trillion on an annualized basis. Global Home Loans, our European mortgage processing joint venture, processes over 15,000 loan originations per month and subservices over $42 billion for over 760,000 borrowers in the United Kingdom. Treasury Bank, our newest diversification initiative, now has $839 million in assets, in line with our expectations. Assets at the bank are expected to grow to $22 billion over a three-year period.
"As the anticipated changes occur in the mortgage banking industry, we are strategically focused on managing our macro-hedge strategy," Kurland concluded. "While profits from the origination sector are expected to decline as interest rates rise, we expect that higher profits from the servicing sector will be realized. Today we are better positioned to withstand significant rate shifts than at any other time in our history. Given our extensive experience in managing interest rate cycles and continuous strategic refinements to our business model, we have greater variability in our cost structure that will be appropriately managed. As we enter 2002, Countrywide is optimistic about the prospects ahead. Our diversification initiatives combined with the strength of our core business will provide the platform upon which we continue to evolve the company into a diversified financial services provider."
Effective this month, Countrywide will discontinue publishing the 13-month statistical data as a separate press release. This information will now be available on the company's website no later than three business days following issuance of the monthly operations press release. To access the data, please visit the company's website at http://www.countrywide.com and then select "investor relations" and then "financial news."
COUNTRYWIDE CREDIT INDUSTRIES, INC. AND SUBSIDIARIES
OPERATING STATISTICS (1)
(Dollars in Millions)
December December Fiscal YTD
2001 (2) 2000
Average Daily Loan
Applications $797 $422 $833
Total Mortgage Loan Pipeline
(loans in process) $22,149 $9,906
Division Fundings $5,717 $1,762 $39,187
Division Fundings $4,800 $1,968 $39,313
Division Fundings $7,033 $2,516 $45,469
Total Loan Fundings $17,550 $6,246 $123,969
Purchase Fundings $6,002 $4,318 $52,338
Refinance Fundings $11,548 $1,928 $71,631
Fundings (3) $8,197 $2,469 $58,581
Home Equity Fundings $712 $392 $5,639
Sub-prime Fundings $802 $546 $5,580
Loan Closing Services (units)
Credit Reports 233,626 125,398 2,580,917
Appraisals 36,174 18,782 328,461
Title Reports 4,028 2,419 37,314
Flood Determinations 136,500 51,758 1,019,850
Volume $336,627 $284,894
Units 3,229,152 2,865,782
Prepayments in Full $11,568 $2,507 $77,221
Bulk Servicing Acquisitions $587 $168 $3,772
(%) - CHL (5) 5.35% 4.97%
(%) - CHL (5) 0.59% 0.47%
Current Month Net
Written Premium $35 $31 $315
Annual Premium on
Policies-in-Force $270 $218
Policies-in-Force (units) 565,571 498,021
Securities Trading Volume $126,208 $64,768 $1,183,084
Assets held by Treasury Bank $839 ---
Working Days 20 20 213
(1) The above data reflect current operating statistics and do not
constitute all factors impacting the quarterly and annual financial
results of the company. All figures are unaudited and monthly
figures may be adjusted in the reported financial statements of the
company. Such financial statements are provided by the company
quarterly. The company makes no commitment to update this
information for changes in circumstances or events which occur
subsequent to the date of this release.
(2) Tenth month of the period ending December 31, 2001. Beginning
January 1, 2002 Countrywide will report on a calendar year basis.
(3) Includes loans originated through the Internet and telemarketing in
the Consumer Markets Division and Full Spectrum Lending Inc.,
and loans purchased through the Internet by the Correspondent
(4) Includes warehouse loans and loans under subservicing agreements for
(5) Based on number of loans excluding subserviced loans for other
clients and Ginnie Mae rewarehouse loans sold into a third
(6) Treasury Bank was acquired May 18, 2001.
|Founded in 1969, Countrywide Credit Industries, Inc. is a member of the S&P 500 and Forbes 500. The company provides mortgage banking and diversified financial services in domestic and international markets. Mortgage banking businesses include loan production and servicing primarily through Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., which originates, purchases, securitizes, sells, and services prime-quality loans. Also included in Countrywide's mortgage banking segment is the LandSafe group of companies that provide loan closing services. Diversified financial services encompass insurance, capital markets, global, and banking, largely through the activities of Balboa Life and Casualty, a national provider of property, liability, and life insurance; Second Charter, a captive mortgage reinsurance company; Countrywide Capital Markets, a mortgage-related investment banker; Treasury Bank, N.A., a banking entity offering customers CDs, money market accounts, and home loan products; and Global Home Loans, a European mortgage banking joint venture in which Countrywide holds a majority interest.
For more information about the company, visit Countrywide's website at
For further information, please contact Jennifer Sandefur or Lisa Riordan, both of Countrywide Credit Industries, Inc., +1-818-225-3550.
Certain of the information included in this press release may contain forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ materially from historical results or those anticipated due to a number of factors such as the direction and level of interest rates, competitive and general economic conditions in each of our business sectors, expense and loss levels in our mortgage, insurance and other business sectors, general economic conditions in the United States and abroad and in the domestic and international areas in which we do business, the legal, regulatory and legislative environments in which the company operates, valuation of our assets and effectiveness of our hedging activities under existing or future accounting standards, performance of individual securities, financial instruments and markets as a whole in response to world events, changes in accounting and financial reporting standards, decisions by the company to change its business mix, and other risks detailed in documents filed by the company with the Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time. Words like "believe," "expect," "should," "may," "could," "anticipated," "promising" and other expressions which indicate future events and trends identify forward-looking statements. The company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements.
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