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Freddie Mac posts a solid quarterly profit

Freddie Mac turned another solid profit in the third quarter and also got the benefit of a billion-dollar private-label securities settlement, the government-sponsored enterprise reported on Tuesday.

Freddie reported $4.7 billion in comprehensive and net income, much of which was associated with the mortgage-related securities litigation settlement. Excluding that settlement, the company’s comprehensive income would have been $1.8 billion.

The profits compared with $1.7 billion in net income and $2 billion in comprehensive income in the second quarter.

“We clearly had a strong quarter - even excluding the large legal settlement, Freddie Mac made a profit of $1.8 billion,” Chief Executive Office Donald Layton said. “This reflects the growing strength of our business model as well as an improving quality of execution,” he said.

Pursuant to its agreement with the federal government, Freddie will be scheduled to pay out $4.7 billion dividend to the U.S. Treasury in December. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) and Treasury officials have held some discussions about withholding a portion of the dividend payments, however.

Freddie’s capital buffers stand at $600 million, and are scheduled to be wound down to zero to begin 2018. Freddie has made aggregate cash dividends to taxpayers to date totaling $110.1 billion, which excludes the December obligation of $4.7 billion.

This is $38.8 billion more than cumulative cash draws of $71.3 billion received from Treasury after it was bailed out in 2008, the company said.


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