New Century Earnings Fall

The mortgage lenders is hit by the housing slowdown.
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Third-quarter profit at

New Century Financial

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got cut in half, as the mortgage lender to people with poor credit histories saw a decline in loan production.

In the quarter, the California-based lender earned $63.5 million, or $1.12 a share, down from $117.5 million, or $2.04 a share, a year ago. Analysts, as surveyed by Thomson Financial, were looking for earnings of $1.89 a share.

New Century, which is organized as real estate investment trust, declared a fourth-quarter dividend of $1.90 a share. The full-year dividend payout is $7.30 a share.