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Countrywide Profit Nudges Higher

The mortgage lender's revenue falls below expectations.
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Mortgage bank

Countrywide Financial

(CFC)

posted a small 2% gain in third-quarter profit, as both earnings and revenue failed to meet expectations.

In the quarter, the California-based lender earned $647 million, or $1.03 a share, up from $633.8 million, or $1.03 a share. Revenue totaled $2.8 billion, up 4% from a year ago.

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But analysts were looking for much more. The Thomson Financial consensus estimate had the firm earning $1.08 a share on revenue of $2.95 billion.

Countrywide's earnings, in recent quarters, have slowed as the market for home mortgages has cooled down.

In premarket trading, shares of Countrywide were trading lower, down 21 cents to $35.

The firm also lowered the upper end of its full-year earnings guidance for 2006. Countrywide now says it expects full-year earnings to range between $4.10 a share and $4.50 a share. The earlier guidance had earnings ranging between $4 and $4.80 a share.

Right now, most analysts are expecting the firm to earn $4.37 a share of the full-year.