Reuters
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UPDATE 1-Fidelity National 1st-qtr profit tops Street
Wed, Apr 25 16:57 PM EDT

* Q1 EPS $0.33 vs est $0.27

* Q1 rev $1.19 bln vs est $1.17 bln

* Total title premiums in Q1 up 3 pct

April 25 (Reuters) - Fidelity National Financial Inc , the No. 1 U.S. property title insurer, posted a higher first-quarter profit that beat analysts estimates, helped by higher premiums, and said title claims paid are expected to decline this year.

January-March net income rose to $74.4 million, or 33 cents per share, from $42.5 million, or 19 cents per share, a year ago.

Revenue rose 5 percent to $1.19 billion in the quarter.

Analysts on average had expected a profit of 26 cents per share on revenue of $1.17 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Total title premiums rose 3 percent to $767.9 million.

Title insurance guarantees that property owners have title to property and can legally transfer the title. Many lenders require that buyers have the insurance before extending loans.

Fidelity National shares, which touched an almost three-year high earlier today, closed at $19.19 on Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.


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