NEW YORK, April 27 Fidelity National Financial
Inc (FNF.N), which controls one of the largest U.S. title
insurers, posted a first-quarter loss on Monday, saying a surge
in demand for mortgage refinancings made it take longer to
The net loss for the Jacksonville, Florida-based company
was $12.4 million, or 6 cents per share, and compared with a
profit of $27.2 million, or 13 cents, a year earlier. Revenue
increased 21 percent to $1.36 billion, helped by acquisitions.
Analysts on average expected profit of 14 cents per share
on revenue of $1.44 billion, according to Reuters Estimates.
The quarter was the first three-month period since Fidelity
National in December bought three title insurers, including
LandAmerica Financial Group Inc's LFGRQ.PK Commonwealth Land
Title Insurance Co and Lawyers Title Insurance Corp.
Demand for refinancings "caused an increase in the time it
takes to close an order, as we really only began to see an
increase in closed order volumes during the later part of the
quarter," Chief Executive William Foley said in a statement.
He said that trend is likely to continue.
Fidelity National said 746,500 orders were opened in the
quarter, while 428,600 were closed. The company on April 20
sold common stock for net proceeds of $331 million and is
examining whether to use more proceeds to pay down debt.
The company's shares closed Monday up 15 cents at $19.06 on
the New York Stock Exchange. They have nearly tripled from
their 52-week low of $6.66 set last Nov. 21.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Andre Grenon)