* Results include $41.6 mln in charges
* Q2 expenses drop 5 percent
* Shares fall as much as 13 pct
By Abhinav Sharma and Archana Shankar
BANGALORE, July 30 Stewart Information Services
Corp (STC.N), which runs one of the largest U.S. title
insurers, posted a narrower second-quarter loss helped by cost
cuts, but its shares fell 13 percent as results lagged its
"Over the last several quarters, there has been little bit
more stabilization in the industry losses and Stewart's main
competitors report earnings with no prior year trust preferred
securities or excess large losses," KBW analyst Nathaniel Otis
The provider of title insurance and related services to the
real-estate and mortgage industries, said net loss attributable
to shareholders was $20.6 million, or $1.14 a share, compared
with a loss of $28.6 million, or $1.58 a share, a year ago.
Earlier in the day, Stewart's larger rival, First American
Corp (FAF.N) said its quarterly profit more than tripled,
helped by a pickup in refinancing and lower
On Monday, Fidelity National Financial Inc (FNF.N), which
controls one of the largest U.S. title insurers, posted a
13-fold increase in quarterly profit, as acquisitions and
falling mortgage rates contributed to a surge in business.
"It's a concern for Stewart, for it's tough because it's a
smaller company. So, large single losses can impact earnings on
a greater standpoint than for Stewart's larger competitors,"
Stewart said quarterly results include pre-tax charges of
$19.2 million tied to reserves and $22.4 million related to
several agency defalcations and large title losses.
Total expenses fell 5 percent to $446.9 million. Quarterly
revenue rose marginally to $430.8 million.
Employee costs were down 16.2 percent at $122 million and
its other operating expenses dropped 18.4 percent to $70.5
million in the quarter.
Title insurance guarantees that property owners have title
to property and can legally transfer that title. Many lenders
require that buyers have the insurance before extending loans.
Shares of the company were trading down 8 percent at $14.20
in afternoon trade Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.
(Additional reporting by Supantha Mukherjee, Editing by Ratul
Ray Chaudhuri, Dinesh Nair)