Mortgage insurer

PMI

( PMI) may have narrowed its loss in the first quarter, sending shares soaring 30% in afternoon trading, but the company is still searching for outlets to enhance its liquidity.

Mortgage companies, however, must sit tight as the government determines how battered the industry is because of the recession -- and whether or not it will lend a hand.

PMI said it more than halved its loss to $115.3 million, or $1.41 a share, boosted by a gain from credit-default swaps and lower expenses. This compares to a loss of $305.9 million, or $3.77, the same period last year. Analysts expected a loss of $1.79 a share in the quarter.

Revenue jumped 6% to $245.1 million.

Last week, rival

Radian

(RDN) - Get Report

posted a loss of $217.4 million, or $2.69 a share, but said it has sufficient capital to write new businesses throughout 2009.

MGIC Investment

(MTG) - Get Report

announced in April that it recorded a wider loss as more homeowners defaulted on mortgages, and said it was discussing its capital position with regulators.

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