Three savings-and-loan institutions engaged in mortgage lending ranked among the 20 top-performing thrifts in 2006, according to SNL Financial, a Charlottesville, Va.-based research firm.Downey Financial Corp., Newport Beach, Calif., ranked seventh in SNL's annual performance ranking of the 100 largest thrifts, with a score of 78.6. (FirstFed Financial Corp. ranked No. 1 with 90.9.) Tied for ninth was BankUnited Financial Corp., Miami Lakes, Fla., while IndyMac Bancorp, Pasadena, Calif., ranked 13th, SNL reported. "The rankings show how profitable it was to be in the mortgage business in 2006," said Maria Tor, a senior analyst at SNL. "However, many of the companies that did so well in 2006 are now being punished in the stock market for possibly underwriting risky loans." The company can be found online at http://www.snl.com.

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