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Slimmed Down First Horizon Still Struggling

$3.1 billion Q3 volume

October 17, 2008

By MortgageDaily.com staff

Reflect the recent sale of much of its mortgage operations, First Horizon National Corp. saw quarterly mortgage production tumble by half. Losses during the latest period worsened by $150 million.

Third-quarter originations were $3.1 billion, earnings data released today indicated. Fundings fell from $6.8 billion in the previous quarter and $6.7 billion the previous year.

The decline was attributed to the sale of its mortgage operations outside Tennessee to MetLife Bank, N.A. That deal, which closed on Aug. 31, included around 250 First Horizon mortgage production offices, the servicing platform and around 3,000 employees.

Year-to-date volume totaled $17.4 billion.

Government production accounted for 53 percent of the latest quarter's activity, while conventional prime business represented 41 percent and jumbo volume was responsible for 3 percent.

The servicing portfolio fell to $65.3 billion as of Sept. 30 from $98.4 billion on June 30 as a result of the MetLife sale.

The Memphis, Tenn.-based firm reported $8.2 billion in residential loans held for investment at the end of the third quarter, about the same as at the end of the second quarter. Real estate construction loans ended the period at $1.2 billion, down from $1.5 billion.

Delinquency of at least 90 days, excluding foreclosures, ended the third quarter at 2.58 percent, rising from 2.08 percent at the end of the second quarter.

Commercial real estate loans, including construction, ended September at $3.5 billion.

Pre-tax mortgage banking earnings were $46 million, falling from $69 million the prior period but significantly improved from a $39 million loss in the third-quarter 2007. Income reflected a $340 million provision which was impacted by deterioration in its homebuilder finance portfolio, increased home-equity loan delinquency and deterioration in the permanent mortgage portfolio.

First Horizon had a company-wide pre-tax loss of $203 million during the latest period, more than $150 million worse than the second-quarter loss and nearly $180 million worse than the third-quarter 2007.

Reflecting the sale of mortgage operations, the company ended September with 6,091 employees, down from 9,245 three months earlier.

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