Fidelity National Financial (FNF) Q4 2010 Earnings Call January 28, 2011 10:00 am ET Executives Raymond Quirk - President Daniel Murphy - Senior Vice President of Finance and Investor Relations of Fidelity National Financial Anthony Park - Chief Financial Officer, Principal Accounting Officer and Executive Vice President Alan Stinson - Executive Vice President George Scanlon - Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer William Foley - Executive Chairman, Chairman of Executive Committee and Chairman of FNF Holding Analysts William Clark - Keefe, Bruyette, & Woods, Inc. Brett Huff - Stephens Inc. Robert Napoli - Piper Jaffray Companies Doug Mewhirter - FBW Mark DeVries - Barclays Capital Presentation Operator
This conference call will be available for replay via webcast at our website at fnf.com. It will also be available through phone replay beginning at 12:30 p.m. Eastern Time today through February 4. The replay number is (800) 475-6701 and the access code is 187500. Let me now turn the call over to our Chairman, Bill Foley.William Foley Thanks, Dan. 2010 was a successful year for FNF on a number of fronts. The Title business experienced strong refinance volumes due to the low mortgage interest rate environment, and we continue to closely manage our expense levels, producing our strongest title earnings and pretax margin in a number of years. The fourth quarter was particularly strong, with a 13.8% pretax margin. The strength of our 2010 earnings allowed us to set our annual 2011 common stock dividend at $0.48 or $0.12 per share per quarter based upon a 2011 dividend payout ratio of 30% of 2010 earnings. We remain the largest and most profitable title company in the country and despite a potentially more challenging environment, we are focused on producing strong title insurance earnings in 2011. We are also able to generate meaningful gains from our other investments and portfolio of companies. In the spring, we realized a $26 million pretax gain from the sale of MSX International bonds, a distressed debt investment. On a percentage basis, that was a 120% gain in approximately 12 months. In May, we also successfully closed the sale of our 32% ownership stake in Sedgwick, generating a pretax gain of approximately $98 million. The sale of Sedgwick clearly achieved our ongoing goal of creating significant value for our shareholders from a portfolio company, doubling our original investment and with the culmination of very successful four-year investment for FNF. Finally, we sold approximately half our investment at FIS stock through the company's August tender offer, selling 1.6 million shares at a tender price of $29 million with a $22 million gain. We continue to own another 1.6 million shares of FIS with a current value of approximately $50 million.
We are also very excited about the prospects for Remy International, an auto parts manufacturer. We own approximately 47% of Remy, that recently completed a debt refinancing and common stock rights offering. In December 2010, Remy closed on a new five-year credit facility and a new six-year term loan using primarily the new term loan proceeds to repay its existing first, second and third lien term loans. In January, through a common stock rights offering, eligible Remy shareholders exercised rights for approximately 19.7 million shares of common stock, resulting in proceeds of approximately $217 million, including the tender of approximately $93.5 million worth of Remy preferred stock. The debt refinancing and recent rights offering will reduce Remy's total debt plus preferred stock by $211 million from $535 million to $324 million.Remy will produce more than $120 million of EBITDA this year in 2010 and we are excited about the company's business outlook, simplified capital structure and significantly reduced fixed charge obligation resulting from the rights offering and the debt refinancing completed last December. We can now turn our focus to a number of strategic alternatives for Remy that could generate meaningful value for FNF shareholders, including but not limited to a secondary offering. Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com