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Activity Down at Farmer Mac

Activity Down at Farmer Mac

$268 million purchases, guarantees, and commitments

April 25, 2003

By staff

Loan activity dipped for Farmer Mac, according to the company’s first quarter statement.

The release by The Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation (Farmer Mac) showed a 46 percent drop from fourth quarter 2002, with long-term standby purchase loan commitments (LTSPCs) accounting for most of the change.

Purchases, guarantees, and commitments for first quarter 2003 totaled $268 million, with LTSPCs comprising $167 million of the total. Fourth quarter 2002 numbers totaled $497 million with an LTSPC portion of  $396 million. LTSPCs totaled $339 million in first quarter 2002 and then dipped to $281 million in the second quarter and $140 million in the third following negative press reports about the company’s financial stability. Despite the fourth quarter spike, company officials cited lingering effects from the negative publicity as the primary factor for the continued low performance in that area.

Other loans used to compile totals for the secondary lender held about even compared to fourth quarter 2002, with Farmer Mac II loans posting an eight percent increase, up to $41.9 million from $38.7 million. In his latest investor conference call, president and CEO Henry Edelman attributed this rise to the upswing in short-term lending.

Loan purchases and guarantees were down slightly from last quarter, dropping to $59 million from fourth quarter’s $63 million, according to the earnings statement.

Farmer Mac’s loan portfolio exceeds $5.5 billion, according to the latest statement, with 90-day delinquencies of $76.2 million, or 1.58 percent of the total.

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