Like its peers, Fidelity National Financial benefited from the refinance-driven mortgage market in the third quarter. Quarter to quarter, the company increased its open and closed title orders while increasing its fee income per residential record.
The company opened 847,000 direct orders in the third quarter, up from 693,000 in the second quarter and 592,000 in the third quarter of 2019. During the same period, the volume of completed orders increased from 487,000 to 401,000 and 409,000, respectively.
Fidelity's open order volume in the third quarter was more than double that of second-largest title insurer First American at 410,000.
The fee per residential record for the third quarter was $ 1,803, up from $ 89 from $ 1,614 for the second quarter. However, the mix of open orders between 60% and 40% in refinancing and buying was similar to the mix between 63% and 37% in the second quarter. For closed orders, there was a shift to more stores in the third quarter, 52% to 48%, compared to 63% to 37% in the second quarter.
In the third quarter of 2019, when purchases accounted for 52% of orders opened and 55% of closed orders, Fidelity made $ 2,459 per file.
As a result, Fidelity National Financial posted net income of $ 378 million for the third quarter, with the title insurance business contributing $ 376 million.
This compares to net income of $ 301 million for the second quarter and net income from the title unit of $ 391 million. << Just double check that these numbers are correct?
A year earlier, the holding company earned $ 250 million, the title company $ 291 million. Last quarter's two results include Fidelity's purchase of the remaining 92% in life insurer FGL Holdings, a transaction that closed in June.
"We achieved adjusted title profit before tax of $ 528 million, a record quarter, and adjusted title margin before tax of 21.2%, our best quarterly margin since the third quarter of 2003 as we benefited from the delayed spring sales season and continued refinancing momentum "said Bill Foley, chairman of Fidelity National, in a press release. "During the third quarter, daily opened and closed refinances increased 83% and 87%, respectively."