Investors saw black ink on Tuesday in the financial statement of U.S. mortgage giant Freddie Mac for the third quarter of 2012, an evidence that the overall housing market recovery maintained the momentum.
The company reported profits of 2.9 billion U.S. dollars with abundant interest income in the three months ending September 30, following a net income of 3 billion dollars a quarter earlier. It had been the fourth consecutive quarter with profit gains since it was under conservatorship after the 2008 financial crisis.
"Freddie Mac's strong financial performance this quarter was driven by favorable market conditions, including the continued improvement in the housing market," said Freddie Mac CEO Donald Layton. He also noted that their inventory of delinquent loans was at the lowest level in two years.
The fresh financial report confirmed the continued recovery in the housing market. In 2011, Freddie Mac experienced a net loss of 5.3 billion dollars, much less than a net loss of 14 billion dollars in 2010. In addition, since the beginning of this year, the company's net income amounted to 6.5 billion dollars and its comprehensive income went up to 10.3 billion dollars.
The government-sponsored enterprise also reported a total comprehensive income of 5.6 billion dollars in the quarter, which was enough to pay a 1.8-billion-dollar cash dividend to the Treasury Department.
Freddie Mac and its sibling company Fannie Mae had asked for 190 billion dollars in aid from the U.S. government after suffering from the collapse of the subprime mortgage market.
The two companies own or guarantee about half of all mortgages in the United States, or nearly 31 million home loans. Along with other federal agencies, they backed nearly 90 percent of new mortgages over the past few years.