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Fidelity Sees Higher Revenue

Fidelity National Financial, a provider of title, real estate and loan management services, earned $444.5 million, or $2.51 per diluted share, during the first quarter, compared to $150.2 million, or $0.88 per share, a year earlier.

Total revenue for the first quarter was $2.27 billion, compared with $1.84 billion for the first quarter of last year. Title and escrow revenue accounted for $1.23 billion in the first quarter, down from $1.29 billion in the first quarter of last year. By contrast, specialty insurance contributed $76 million for the first quarter of 2005 vs. $49 million in the first quarter of 2004.

Revenue from Fidelity's financial institutions software and services division was $381 million for the first quarter of 2005 vs. $243 million for the first quarter of 2004.

Fidelity said its default management unit generated $55 million in revenue for the first quarter of 2005 vs. $47 million in the first quarter of 2004. Fidelity also recorded a $318 million non-operating gain on the sale of minority equity interest in its Fidelity Information Services division during the first quarter.

Chairman and CEO William Foley characterized the first quarter as a "solid start to another important year for FIS," noting that the company completed the recapitalization of the FIS division and paid a special dividend to shareholders of $10 per share.

"We continue to make progress on our diversification efforts, as 38% of our pretax income came from non-title insurance operations in the first quarter. We were able to generate more than 6% organic growth and improve pretax margins in our information services business, despite the slowing mortgage market," Mr. Foley said in the company's earnings release.

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