July 29, 2010 / 12:46 PM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 1-Stewart Info Q2 profit beats Street view

* Q2 EPS $0.45 vs est. $0.10/shr

* Q2 rev up 2.5 pct to $441.5 mln, above est.

* Q2 expenses down 5 pct to $423.5 mln

July 29, (Reuters) - Stewart Information Services Corp (STC.N) posted a second-quarter profit that beat expectations, helped by higher title insurance revenue and lower claims.

For the second quarter, the company posted earnings of $9.4 million, or 45 cents a share, compared with a loss of $20.6 million, or $1.14 a share, in the year-ago period.

Revenue rose nearly 3 percent to $441.5 million, helped in part by higher title insurance revenue from the company’s agency operations.

Analysts were expecting earnings of 10 cents a share on revenue of $416.8 million, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S

    Expenses fell 5 percent to $423.5 million, helped by lower employee costs and title losses and related claims.

    The U.S. Congress’ extension on the closing deadline on contracts that qualify for the homebuyer tax credit would positively influence third-quarter results, the company said. It also expects existing bank debt to be retired early in the fourth quarter.

    Shares of the Houston, Texas-based company closed at $8.80 Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Rachel Chitra in Bangalore; Editing by Vyas Mohan)

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