MGIC Investment Corp (MTG) Leads Mortgage Insurers, Up 14%

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- MGIC Investment Corp (MTG) shares exploded after the mortgage insurer posted surprise third-quarter profits, leading competitors Radian Group (RDN) and Genworth Financial (GNW) in an industry rally. MGIC has seen six years of annual losses since the housing crises of 2007 and 2008.

For the third quarter ended September 30, MGIC reported earnings of 4 cents a share on net income of $12.1 million,  compared to a loss of $1.22 a share on a net loss of $246.9 million, for the year-ago quarter.

For the nine months to September, MGIC reported a net loss of $48.4 million compared to a net loss of $540.4 million for the same period in 2012. Losses incurred dropped to $180.2 million from $490.1 million a year earlier, indicating fewer delinquency notices received and a lower claim rate.

"The home price appreciation we have been experiencing over the last several quarters, as well as modest improvements in the employment picture, continued to positively impact our financial results," said CEO Curt S. Culver in a conference call.

MGIC shares climbed 14.9% to $8.34 at market close, leading the S&P 500 which was up 1.38%.

Shares of Radian Group and Genworth Financial also gained, up 7.7% and 3.6% respectively. Both companies are expected to report at the end of October.

Written by Keris Alison Lahiff.

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