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California and the West | EARNINGS ROUNDUP

Golden West Profit Up 17% on New Loans

Revenue climbs to $901 million at the company even as other mortgage lenders report slowdowns.

January 25, 2006|E. Scott Reckard | Times Staff Writer

Golden West Financial Corp., an Oakland-based specialist in adjustable-rate mortgages, reported 17% higher fourth-quarter earnings Tuesday as its lending grew despite overall slowing in the home loan industry.

The parent of World Savings Bank, the largest savings and loan based in California, earned $395.2 million, or $1.27 a share, during the quarter, up from $338.5 million, or $1.09, a year earlier.

Revenue rose to $901 million from $773 million.

Full-year profit rose to $1.49 billion, or $4.77 a share, from $1.28 billion, or $4.13. Revenue increased by 17% to $3.4 billion from $2.9 billion.

Golden West expanded its portfolio of adjustable loans by $16.7 billion, or 16%, last year despite near-historical lows on fixed-rate loans, which presented an attractive alternative to borrowers, said Chairman and Chief Executive Marion Sandler.

The results reversed a trend at other home lending specialists such as Seattle's Washington Mutual Inc., the nation's largest S&L, and San Francisco's Wells Fargo & Co., California's largest bank, both of which reported slowdowns in mortgage banking.

Golden West shares closed down 39 cents at $68.06.

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