Fannie Mae reported higher net income in the fourth quarter over the previous year.
The government-sponsored enterprise's net earnings more than doubled to $5.04 billion during the fourth quarter from $2.47 billion a year earlier. For the full year, Fannie Mae had net earnings of $12.3 billion, up 12% from 2015.
Fannie Mae made $9.6 billion in dividend payments to Treasury in 2016, and plans to pay another $5.5 billion in March. With the March payment, Fannie will have made $159.9 billion in dividend payments to Treasury.
Buoying Fannie's fourth-quarter results was a shift toward significantly higher fair value gains due to the increases in longer-term interest rates. Fair value gains totaled $3.89 billion, as opposed to a $491 million fair value loss in the third quarter and a $135 million gain in the fourth quarter of 2015.
This gain was offset though by Fannie's swing toward a larger provision for credit losses. This provision came to $1.3 billion, versus a $673 million benefit in the third quarter and a smaller $255 million provision the year before.
Consequently, Fannie's total credit-related expense for the quarter was $1.44 billion. In the third quarter, the GSE earned $563 million in credit-related income, while a year ago the credit-related expense was just $732 million.
Net revenue for the quarter was $6.22 billion, up 11% from the third quarter and 17% year over year.