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First American Financial Q4 Results Beat View; To Acquire Docutech For $350 Mln

First American Financial Corp. (FAF), a provider of title insurance, settlement services and risk solutions for real estate transactions, Thursday reported that its net income for the fourth quarter surged to $224.00 million or $1.97 per share, from $91.65 million or $0.81 per share in the year-ago period.

Net realized investment gains in the current quarter were $23.8 million or $0.16 per share, compared with net realized investment losses of $67.5 million or $0.47 per share in the prior-year quarter.

Earnings for the quarter excluding net realized investment gains and losses NRIG (L) were $1.80 per share, compared to $1.28 per share in the same period last year.

Total revenue for the quarter was $1.73 billion, up 22 percent from $1.42 billion in the prior-year quarter.

On average, analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $1.48 per share for the quarter on revenues of $1.66 billion. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

First American Financial also said it has agreed to acquire Docutech, a provider of document, eClose and fulfillment technology for the mortgage industry, for $350 million in cash.

The company noted that the acquisition will advance its ability to provide lender customers with end-to-end digital mortgage and settlement services.

Docutech's technology platform, which is fully integrated with leading third-party and proprietary loan origination systems and reaches more than 175 lenders, will deepen the company's relationships with these industry players.

Docutech's management team, including President and CEO Amy Brandt, will continue to lead the company's operations.

First American Financial expects the transaction is expected to close by the end of March and be accretive to its earnings in 2020.

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