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O.C. BUSINESS PLUS | ORANGE COUNTY BRIEFLY

First American Sells a Software Unit

February 06, 2001|Dow Jones

First American Corp. said it sold its Contour Software Inc. unit to Ellie Mae Inc., a provider of Internet services for the mortgage industry, for a stake in Ellie Mae and the right to appoint a member to its board.

Financial information wasn't available.

First American, a Santa Ana title company that offers real-estate-related financial and informational services, said it will realize a gain from the sale. A spokesman wouldn't elaborate.

Analysts estimate First American's earnings at $1.02 a share for 2000 and $1.49 a share for 2001, according to a survey by First Call/Thomson Financial.

As a preferred provider of mortgage origination products to Ellie Mae, First American expects to benefit from marketing its origination products to Ellie Mae's Genesis 2000 and Contour users.

First American said nearly one of every three mortgages in the U.S. originates on the Contour platform. Ellie Mae's system now serves about 50% of the industry's loan volume.

Contour Software offers products and services for the mortgage loan finance industry.

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