UPDATE 1-Friedman Billings posts wider Q3 loss

Thu Oct 25, 2007 10:56am EDT

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Oct 25 (Reuters) - Friedman Billings Ramsey Group Inc's (FBR.N) third-quarter losses tripled from a year ago, hurt by write-offs in its securitized loan portfolio and losses from sale of mortgage securities. The investment bank and brokerage posted a net after-tax loss of $214.7 million, or $1.28 a share, compared with a net after-tax loss of $67.4 million, or 39 cents a share, a year ago.

FBR, which spun off its investment banking unit in June, said quarterly results included a write-off of $90 million in losses related to its securitized loan portfolio and $67 million loss from sale of mortgage-backed securities.

Wall Street has suffered its most difficult summer in years as slowdown in housing markets triggered a broader credit crunch, hammering the value of mortgages, asset-backed securities and corporate loans earmarked for buyouts.

The Arlington, Virginia-based FBR also incurred a $17.2 million loss on restructuring and operating costs at its nonprime mortgage unit First NLC Financial Services. At the end of the quarter, Friedman's exposure to First NLC was $12 million.

Friedman had in July agreed to sell an 80 percent stake in First NLC to private equity firm Sun Capital Partners Inc.

FBR shares, which have lost more than 46 percent of their value year-to-date, rose 1.17 percent to $4.31 in morning trade on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by John Tilak and Avishek Mishra in Bangalore)

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