Countrywide Financial Corp., Calabasas, Calif., has reported consolidated net earnings of $699.6 million ($2.24 per share) for the second quarter, up 83% from $382.9 million ($1.37 per share) in the second quarter of last year.The earnings per share represented the company's second-best quarter on record, Countrywide said. Pretax earnings by the company's mortgage banking operations were 118% higher than those recorded a year earlier, and contributed 77% of the company's consolidated pretax earnings. "Based on recent financial data released by our major competitors, Countrywide appears to have maintained the No. 1 market position in originations during the second quarter," said Angelo R. Mozilo, Countrywide's chairman and chief executive officer. ".... This surge in production helped us maintain an excellent trend in our servicing portfolio, with growth of $43 billion during the quarter, which equates to an annualized growth rate of 25%." Countrywide's mortgage servicing rights appreciated in value by $2.2 billion, which enabled the company to recover a previously recorded MSR impairment of $1.4 billion. The difference between the two numbers represents an unrecognized increase in MSR value of $810 million, Mr. Mozilo said. The company can be found online at http://www.countrywide.com.

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