Stewart Information Services Earnings: Here’s Why Investors are Happy Now

Stewart Information Services Corp. (NYSE:STC) delivered a profit and beat Wall Street’s expectations, BUT came up short on beating the revenue expectation. The revenue miss is a negative sign to shareholders seeking high growth out of the company. Shares are up 3.5%.

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Stewart Information Services Corp. Earnings Cheat Sheet

Results: Adjusted Earnings Per Share increased to $0.15 in the quarter versus EPS of $-0.63 in the year-earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 10.05% to $423.7 million from the year-earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: Stewart Information Services Corp. reported adjusted EPS income of $0.15 per share. By that measure, the company beat the mean analyst estimate of $0.09. It missed the average revenue estimate of $460.89 million.

Quoting Management: “We are pleased to report greatly improved results of operations for our first quarter 2013, a traditionally weak quarter for the real estate industry,” said Matthew W. Morris, chief executive officer. “While our revenues benefited from continued improvement in housing market conditions, our focus on cost effective, scalable operations and claims management resulted in our pretax results improving from a loss of $7.9 million in 2012′s first quarter to a profit of $10.8 million (excluding the charges) in this year’s first quarter. We remain mindful of the 2013 outlook for real estate, and therefore are maintaining our focus on simplifying and aligning our operations to adapt our costs quickly to transaction volumes and market conditions. As our restructured operations deliver more consistent results, we are concentrating on smart growth, particularly in our direct title and mortgage services operations.”

Key Stats (on next page)…

Revenue decreased 18.67% from $520.97 million in the previous quarter. EPS decreased 85.85% from $1.06 in the previous quarter.

Looking Forward: Analysts have a more negative outlook for the company’s next-quarter performance. Over the past three months, the average estimate for next quarter’s earnings has fallen from a profit of $0.86 to a profit $0.69. For the current year, the average estimate has moved down from a profit of $2.62 to a profit of $2.03 over the last ninety days.

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(Company fundamentals provided by Xignite Financials. Email any earnings discrepancies to earnings [at]