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Stewart Information (STC) Q1 Earnings & Revenues Rise Y/Y

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Stewart Information Services Corporation (STC - Free Report) first-quarter 2021 adjusted earnings of $1.92 per share increased more than three-fold year over year.

Shares gained 0.2% in the last trading session, reflecting the solid performance,

Results benefited from continued strong trends in residential real estate transaction activity as well as robust growth in international and newly-acquired ancillary services businesses. The quarterly performance reflects the company’s sustained focus on targeted growth and broader technology and services offerings.

Behind the Headlines

Operating revenues of $689 million increased 56.6% year over year on the back of higher revenues from direct operations, agency operations and ancillary services.

Net investment income, however, decreased 24.4% to $3.9 million.

Total expense of $614.9 million increased 42.7% year over year due to increase in amounts retained by agencies, employee costs, other operating expenses and title losses and related claims.

Opened orders totaled 0.2 million, up 28.7% year over year. Closed orders totaled 0.1 million, up 66.4% year over year

Segment Results

Title: Operating revenues increased 42% year over year to $625.4 million. The upside was driven by increases in direct title revenues and gross independent agency revenues.

Pretax margin of 12.2% expanded 880 bps year over year.

Ancillary Services and Corporate: Operating revenues increased more than ten fold year over year to $55.9 million, driven by acquisitions.

Pretax loss narrowed to $3.1 million from $5.6 million incurred in the year-ago quarter.

Financial Update

Stewart Information exited the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $412.7 million, down 4.6% from 2020 end. Notes and contracts payable were $125.6 million, up 23.4%.

Stockholders’ equity was $1 billion, up 3.5% from 2020 end.

Cash flow from operations was $47.4 million versus $11.4 million used in the year-ago quarter.

Zacks Rank

Stewart Information currently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).  You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Performance of Other Insurers

Of the insurance industry players that have reported first-quarter results so far, The Travelers Companies (TRV - Free Report) , W.R. Berkley Corporation (WRB - Free Report) and RLI Corporation (RLI - Free Report) beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate for earnings.

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