Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Countrywide Foresees a Tough 2007

Countrywide Financial, one of the US leading mortgage lenders, announced its financial results for 2006. While the overall annual results indicate a successful year, the 4th quarter performance was worse than predicted. The company Chairman Angelo Mozilo said he expects a tough 2007 “as mortgage origination volumes decline and industry capacity is rationalized”. The management is also preparing for higher delinquency levels and credit deterioration.

Nevertheless, Countrywide officials hope the company will continue to profit as smaller players leave the market or merge with larger businesses in the tough environment. The company predicts a better 2008, which should mark the beginning of an upward trend for the housing and mortgage market.

In spite of the reports, Countrywide shares went up as rumors of possible merge or acquisition by Bank of America spread late last week.

Countrywide is one of the largest residential mortgage originators in the U.S., holding a 15% market share.

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