PHH Corp. posts 4th qtr. profit from mortgage business

Anytime a company involved in the mortgage business issues financial results, it's worth paying attention.

This morning, Mount Laurel's PHH Corp. said it had net income of $12 million, or 21 cents per share, on net revenues of $550 million for the fourth quarter. That compares with net income of $1 million, or 3 cents per shares, on net revenues of $615 million for the same quarter of 2006.

CEO Terry Edwards cited the "disruption in the credit markets" for the slowdown in its volume during the last three months of the year. He noted that the company cut expenses by $36 million during 2007 as it closed certain facilities and eliminated 700 jobs.

Perhaps surprising for anyone in the mortgage business right now, Edwards expresses "guarded optimism" for 2008:

We believe we have adequate liquidity to execute our forecast and that PHH is well-positioned to operate in what will likely be a difficult year for the financial services sector.

PHH is one of the 10 biggest originators of residential mortgages.