Radian Group Inc. earned $76.5 million for the first quarter, up 16% from $66.2 million one year prior, helped by a 25% year-over-year rise in new insurance written.

The Philadelphia-based company's NIW volume of $10.1 billion beat FBR Capital Market's $8.1 billion estimate. Radian did $8.1 billion of NIW in the first quarter of 2016.

Radian had a larger year-over-year increase than its two largest rivals. Arch MI, which acquired United Guaranty at the end of last year, reported a 20% year-over-year increase to $12.7 billion, while MGIC had a 12% increase to $9.3 billion.

Radian's total primary mortgage insurance-in-force was $185.9 billion as of March 31 from $175.4 billion one year prior.

Separately, Old Republic International Corp. said a year-over-year decline in operating revenue in its mortgage insurance business (currently in run-off) contributed to a decline in net income.

The Chicago-based company earned $113.1 million in the first quarter versus $122.9 million one year ago.

Title insurance pretax income grew 89% to $40.4 million from $21.4 million as fees and income increased 9.2% while claims costs declined by 54.8%.

First American Financial Corp. reported net income of $58.3 million, up 11% from $52.5 million in the first quarter of 2016.

Direct open orders fell to 259,600 from 302,900.

"While refinance headwinds remain, our purchase business is performing well as we move into the spring selling season, with the average fee per file continuing to show strong growth. Conditions remain good in our commercial business, with revenue up 2% from last year."

"We reduced our title loss provision rate this quarter to 4%, which reflects the expected claim losses for the 2017 policy year. We lowered the rate in light of favorable economic conditions, the current strength of our reserves, our improved claims experience over the past few years, and process improvements in the company’s underwriting and claims practices," said CEO Dennis J. Gilmore in a press release.

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