Top executives have also taken pay cuts as part of company-wide efforts to save.
By Mark Basch, The Times-Union
After announcing Wednesday that it cut 1,700 jobs in the third quarter, Fidelity National Financial Inc. said Thursday that it has cut 600 more this month.
And as the housing market slump continues to hurt its title insurance business, Fidelity also said its top executives have taken pay cuts.
During a conference call with analysts Thursday to discuss third-quarter earnings, Fidelity officials said they have been looking at cutbacks all over the company as its business volume declines.
By the end of the third quarter, Jacksonville-based Fidelity had cut about 4,000 jobs in its title insurance field operations - mainly outside of Jacksonville - since the beginning of 2006, leaving it with 10,800 field employees, Co-President Randy Quirk said in the conference call. The company has about 17,000 employees overall.
"We have continued our aggressive headcount reductions early in the fourth quarter, as we have eliminated an additional 600 positions in the first three weeks of October," Quirk said.
Chairman Bill Foley also said that the company's top 40 managers will take a 10 percent pay cut for the four months from November through February. The company also will not pay discretionary bonuses to its executives.
"Myself, I'm waiving my salary for the four months," Foley said. "We're taking this very seriously."
According to Fidelity's most recent proxy statement, Foley's contract calls for him to make $500,000 a year in salary.
Fidelity reported late on Wednesday that its third-quarter earnings fell 46 percent to $62 million, or 28 cents a share, excluding a special charge to bolster reserves for claim losses. With that charge, earnings dropped to $6.5 million, or three cents a share.
Although earnings are down and the housing market weakness has no end in sight, Foley said Fidelity is generating enough cash to continue paying shareholders their 30 cent-per-share dividend.
"We are confident that we can maintain the dividend at the current level through 2009," he said.
Foley also said in the conference call that the company is on track to complete the acquisition of Minneapolis-based Ceridian Corp. by the end of this year.
Fidelity announced a 50-50 partnership in May with Thomas H. Lee Partners to buy Ceridian but said it was looking for additional investment partners.
Foley said other partners have joined in, and Fidelity will pay about $510 million to $525 million of the $1.6 billion equity investment in Ceridian, giving Fidelity about a 30 percent stake in the company.
An analyst asked if the company might consider selling off one of its properties as it looks to cut costs, and Foley said anything could happen.
"Everything is on the table. It always has been with us," he said.
FIS CC was positive. dramatic growth in the foreclosure business. expect to eventually see at least $65 million in yearly expense reductions in the recently acquired E-Funds businesses. After they sell off the check business and do the spin-off I think that the 'new' FIS will be the fastest growing businesses....should have exceptional growth rates.