MCLEAN, Va. (
on Friday, posting its first quarterly operating profit in two years, compared with ballooning losses for its mortgage finance counterpart.
Freddie also said after the closing bell that it maintained a positive net worth of more than $8.2 billion at June 30, whereas Fannie was forced to tap the Treasury Department for another $11 billion worth of funds to close a capital gap.
Freddie shares were surging 19 cents, or 26%, higher in after-market trading, at 93 cents, while Fannie climbed 9 cents, or 14%, to 75 cents. The two penny stocks had made
sudden surges earlier in the week on expectations of positive news, and short covering.
Freddie technically posted a loss, when including $1.1 billion in dividend payments on a huge amount of preferred stock that the Treasury holds in the company. Excluding those costs, it was $768 million in the black.
Although the earnings news was positive, and there are some reassuring signals from the housing market, Freddie and Fannie are far from out of the woods. Freddie Mac Interim CEO John Koskinen noted several economic headwinds standing in the way of recovery, besides the government's yet-to-be-determined plans to restructure both GSEs.
"While we are seeing some early signs pointing to a housing recovery -- including a modest uptick in house prices in some markets -- our outlook remains cautious due to rising foreclosures, growing unemployment, tight lending standards and buyers' reluctance to re-enter the market," Koskinen said in a statement.
-- Written by Lauren Tara LaCapra in New York. Follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TSCLauren