Genworth's Mortgage Insurance Profits Almost Double in 2015

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The U.S. mortgage insurance business was one of the few bright spots for Genworth Financial in 2015, as it earned $179 million in net operating income, almost double the $91 million earned in 2014.

For the fourth quarter, net operating income was $41 million, up from $21 million for 2014's fourth quarter.

During the quarter, the company promoted Kevin Schneider, who had been heading up the global mortgage insurance business, to chief operating officer of Genworth Financial.

On a corporate level, Genworth lost $615 million for the full year, as continued problems with its life insurance and long-term care insurance businesses outweighed the strong performance of the U.S. mortgage insurance subsidiary as well as Genworth's stakes in its separately traded Canadian and Australian mortgage insurance companies, which earned $37 million and $22 million, respectively.

In 2014, Genworth Financial lost $1.2 billion.

For the fourth quarter, the parent company lost $292 million, an improvement over the prior year loss of $760 million.

New insurance written for the year was $31.6 billion, up from $24.4 billion in 2014. Fourth-quarter NIW was $7.8 billion, up from $6.9 billion.

Insurance-in-force as of Dec. 31, 2015 was $122.4 billion, compared with $114.4 billion on the same day one year prior.

Paid claims totaled $534 million in 2015, down from $639 million in 2014. Its inventory of delinquent loans ended the year at 31,663; one year prior it stood at 39,786 loans.

Unlike its life insurance business, for which Genworth Financial announced it was suspending sales, the company sees mortgage insurance as a positive for its future. There was no discussion of a possible spin-off of the U.S. business during the conference call.

"As we look through our plans over the next couple of years, we absolutely think that the U.S. mortgage insurance business is going to continue to provide sustained growth opportunities. So, think of the U.S. mortgage insurance business as continuing to grow, potentially getting to the point we expect [it] to be able to kick into the dividend stream," Schneider said in response to a question about the company's projections.

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