ECC Capital Corp., a real estate investment trust based in Irvine, Calif., has reported a net loss of $6.4 million ($0.06 per share) in the first quarter, a big improvement from the fourth-quarter results of the troubled mortgage REIT but a bigger loss than it recorded a year earlier.The company reported a loss of $49.8 million ($0.50 per share) in the fourth quarter, and a loss of $2.7 million ($0.04 per share) in the first quarter of 2005. ECC Capital also announced that it will not pay a dividend for the second quarter. "The loss on the sale of loans was significantly reduced during the first quarter of 2006 as compared to the fourth quarter of 2005 largely due to marking down our inventory at Dec. 31, 2005, on most trades settling during the first quarter of 2006," said Shabi Asghar, co-chief executive officer and president of ECC Capital. "While we do not expect to see the full positive impact of our restructuring efforts in operating costs until the latter half of the year, we are starting to see some improvement in whole loan execution on loans originated in 2006." The company announced earlier this year that it would consolidate seven wholesale loan processing centers into three and lay off more than 440 employees. The REIT can be found online at http://www.encorecredit.com.

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