Fannie Mae Falls as Losses Pile Up

Shares of Fannie Mae were falling Friday, a day after the government-backed mortgage finance company reported a fourth-quarter loss of $25.2 billion and said it would need significant aid from Washington in the coming weeks.
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Shares of

Fannie Mae

(FNM)

were falling Friday, a day after the government-backed mortgage finance company reported a fourth-quarter loss of $25.2 billion and said it would need significant aid from Washington in the coming weeks.

The loss was equivalent to $4.47 share in the final quarter of 2008. In the third quarter,

Fannie Mae

lost $29 billion, or $13 a share. The fourth-quarter loss was primarily caused by $12.3 billion in net fair value losses, credit-related expenses of $12 billion and securities impairments of $4.6 billion.

For all of 2008, Fannie Mae reported a loss of $58.7 billion. Because of the continued downturn in the housing and financial markets, Fannie Mae is asking the government for $15.2 billion by March 31 in order to eliminate its year-end net worth deficit.

Shares of Fannie Mae were recently down 12.2% at 43 cents.

Fannie Mae, along with fellow mortgage company

Freddie Mac

(FRE)

, was taken over by the federal government last year amid the worst of the chaos that reshaped Wall Street via a string of mergers, bankruptcies, failures and bailouts. Freddie's shares were losing 11.2% at 44 cents.