UPDATE 1-First American Q2 profit beats Street

Tue Aug 3, 2010 8:45am EDT

* Q2 EPS $0.32 vs est $0.31

* Average rev per order rises

* Open orders higher than closed in Q2

Aug 3 (Reuters) - First American Financial Corp (FAF.N), one of the largest U.S. title insurers by revenue, reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, as its average revenue per order rose.

The Santa Ana, California-based company earned $33.8 million, or 32 cents a share, during the second quarter, compared with $28.6 million, or 27 cents a share, last year.

Analysts on average were expecting the company to earn 31 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Average revenue per direct title order was up 20 percent to $1,565. The insurer's net realized investment gains were 2 cents a share, compared with a loss of 13 cents a share last year.

The company closed 309,000 orders for the quarter, while it opened 410,000 orders.

Title insurance guarantees that property owners have title to their property and can legally transfer it. Many lenders require buyers to have the insurance before extending loans, and the industry has to depend on total mortgage-origination volumes.

First American shares closed at $14.88 Monday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Himank Sharma in Bangalore; Editing by Jarshad Kakkrakandy)

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