* Q2 EPS $0.65 vs est $0.47
* Q2 rev $1.74 bln vs $1.52 bln
* Total tile premiums earned in Q2 rises 12 pct
* Q2 restaurant unit oper profit $253 mln
July 23 Fidelity National Financial Inc's
results handily beat estimates on a strong performance
at its core title insurance business, and the company started
reporting results of its restaurant holdings unit as a separate
The No. 1 U.S. property title insurer has been making moves
outside its core title insurance business and sees its
restaurant holdings portfolio -- American Blue Ribbon Holdings
(ABRH)-- growing into a larger operating unit.
Consolidation of the ABRH results began on May 11 and for
the partial quarter the company reported operating revenue of
$253 million from the segment.
"I think it is a good sign because it will allow investors
some more transparency into that asset so they can get a better
sense of its quality and value it properly," Stephens analyst
Brett Huff told Reuters.
In February, ABRH agreed to buy O'Charley's Inc in a deal
that valued the casual dining chain at $221 million.
"The integration of O'Charley's into ABRH has begun and we
look forward to reporting improving margins as we move forward
with our integration plans," Fidelity National's Chief Executive
George Scanlon said in a statement.
The company said last month that a newly formed unit of its
restaurant subsidiary would buy restaurant operator J
Alexander's Corp for $72 million and that the combined
entity would trade on public markets.
On completion of the deal, which is facing opposition from
some J Alexander shareholders, the combined ABRH operations are
expected to generate annual revenue of about $1.5 billion.
STRONG SECOND QUARTER
The company's profit for the quarter rose 80 percent on the
back of strong premium growth and pretax margins at its core
title insurance business.
Second quarter net income rose to $147 million, or 65 cents
per share, from $80 million, or 36 cents per share, a year
Total revenue for the quarter rose 41 percent to $1.74
Analysts on an average expected the company to earn 47 cents
per share on revenue of $1.52 billion, according to Thomson
Total title premiums earned in the quarter rose 12 percent
to $946 million, while pretax title margins, excluding gains,
rose to 14.4 percent from 11.6 percent last year.
"The earnings report is positive as it shows that the
company's core title business can put up extremely strong
margins even in a housing environment that isn't in full
recovery yet," Stephens analyst Huff said.
Title insurance guarantees that property owners have title
to property and can legally transfer the title. Many lenders
require that buyers have the insurance before extending loans.
Shares of Fidelity National, which has a market
capitalization of $4.24 billion, have risen 20 percent since the
beginning of the year.
They closed at $18.69 on Monday on the New York Stock