Fannie Mae expects to miss earnings deadline

WASHINGTON Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:03pm EDT

A view shows the Fannie Mae logo at its headquarters in Washington March 30, 2012. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

A view shows the Fannie Mae logo at its headquarters in Washington March 30, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Mortgage giant Fannie Mae (FNMA.OB) on Thursday said it expects to miss a March 18 regulatory deadline for filing its fourth-quarter financial results.

The government-controlled firm notified the Securities and Exchange Commission that it would not file the earnings report on time, and said it still expects to post "significant net income for the three months and the year ended December 31."

The company and its smaller rival, Freddie Mac (FMCC.OB), provide financing for about two-thirds of all new U.S. home loans, and have soaked up $131 billion in taxpayer aid since being seized by the government at the height of the financial crisis in 2008.

Fannie Mae said it needs more time to analyze its deferred tax assets, which are unused credits and deductions that can be used to cover future tax bills, in the SEC filing it submitted on Thursday.

Those deferred tax assets may have a "material impact" on the company's 2012 financial statements and result "in a significant dividend payment" to the Treasury Department, the filing stated.

The company has already requested $116.1 billion in aid and paid $28.6 billion in the form of dividends to Treasury.

Last month, Freddie Mac posted a $11.0 billion profit for 2012, the first annual increase in its net income since 2006. Freddie said it had net income of $4.5 billion in the quarter that ended December 31, 2012, after taking into account a $5.8 billion payment it will make to Treasury in return for taxpayer support.

Under an agreement with the Treasury Department, the companies had been required to pay a 10 percent dividend to the government for the taxpayer aid they received. At times, this led them to draw aid just to make the payments.

New terms that took effect this year mandate payments only when they are profitable, but they are now required to turn over their earnings.

(Reporting By Margaret Chadbourn; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)