The First American Financial Corporation anticipates a profitable second quarter ...


April 24, 1991, SANTA ANA, CALIFORNIA

The First American Financial Corporation (FAMRA and FAMRB), while expecting a loss in the first quarter of 1991 based on preliminary figures, anticipates a profitable second quarter and a modest improvement throughout the year, said President D.P. Kennedy today at the annual meeting of shareholders held at company headquarters in Santa Ana, California.

First American Financial's principal subsidiary, First American Title Insurance Company, is the second largest title insurer in the nation.

Open orders during the latter part of the first quarter were the highest since the same time in 1987, Kennedy said, but revenue producing closings did not follow until the latter part of March.

"Based on trends we see beginning to develop in the real estate business, it appears that the housing market has begun to show substantial improvement," Kennedy said. "The closings began to improve sharply in the latter part of March and have continued in April.

"Recent industry and governmental reports show permits for new homes have increased slightly the past two months," Kennedy continued. "But we continue to have concern as to the availability of money to fund the sales."

Kennedy expressed doubts about a swift, strong recovery due to the current banking situation. "The regulators have so stifled lenders that funds for many real estate loans are difficult to get right now, although funds appear to be available to home buyers at the high and low ends of the market."

On a positive note, Kennedy noted signs of recovery in the commercial building market in Orange County, where First American started doing business in 1889, and where it has the number one market share in the commercial/industrial arena.

"It is much too early to make any forecasts about all of 1991," Kennedy said, "but if current favorable trends continue, we can foresee continuing improvement through the balance of the year."

At the annual meeting, shareholders re-elected the following incumbent 14 directors. They are George L. Argyros, chairman and chief executive officer, Arnel Development Company and Affiliates, Costa Mesa, California; Stanley L. Bauer, Los Angeles attorney; J. David Chatham, president and chief executive officer, Chatham Properties, Inc. and Chatham Holdings, Inc., Atlanta, Georgia; Lewis W. Douglas, Jr., real estate developer, Santa Monica, California; Paul B. Fay, Jr., president, The Fay Improvement Company, San Francisco; Frank C. Harrington, president, Harrington Development, Newport Beach, California; Harold C. Kean, director, Washington Federal Savings and Loan Association, Seattle; D.P. Kennedy, president, The First American Financial Corporation and chairman of the board, First American Title Insurance Company, Santa Ana, California; Parker S. Kennedy, executive vice president, The First American Financial Corporation and president, First American Title Insurance Company, Santa Ana, California; Robert B. McLain, president, McLain Development Co., Newport Beach, California; Anthony R. Moiso, president and chief executive officer, Santa Margarita Company, San Juan Capistrano, California; R.J. Munzer, retired chairman of the board, Petrolane Incorporated, Long Beach, California; Roslyn B. Payne, president, Jackson Street Partners, Ltd., San Francisco; and Virginia M. Ueberroth, financial advisor, Laguna Beach, California.

The board regretfully accepted the resignation of Gregor G. Peterson, who has served as a director since 1971. He is currently a private investor and board member of Hogan Systems, Inc., a banking software firm which he had previously served as chairman.

First American Title Insurance Company, principal subsidiary of The First American Financial Corporation, offers title services through a network of more than 5,500 offices or agents in all 50 states. It also provides title services abroad in the Bahamas, Bermuda, Canada, Guam, Mexico, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the United Kingdom.

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