Freddie Mac turns 4th quarter profit, pays government a dividend

WASHINGTON Thu Feb 28, 2013 5:21pm EST

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WASHINGTON Feb 28 (Reuters) - Freddie Mac reported a fourth-quarter profit on Thursday that pushed its net income for the full year to $11.0 billion, a turnaround from a net loss of $5.3 billion a year earlier as the U.S. housing market recovered.

The nation's second-largest mortgage finance company, which was taken over by the government in 2008 as loan losses mounted, said it had net income of $4.5 billion in the quarter that ended Dec. 31, 2012, compared with a net income of $2.9 billion in the prior quarter.

The company, which has drawn a cumulative $71.3 billion in aid from the Treasury, said it paid the government a $1.8 billion dividend in the fourth quarter in return for the taxpayer support.