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FNF > SEC Filings for FNF > Form 10-Q on 1-May-2013All Recent SEC Filings

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Form 10-Q for FIDELITY NATIONAL FINANCIAL, INC.


1-May-2013

Quarterly Report


Item 2. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results
of Operations
The statements contained in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q that are not purely historical are forward-looking statements within the meaning of
Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, including statements regarding our expectations, hopes, intentions or strategies regarding the future. All forward-looking statements included in this document are based on information available to us on the date hereof, and we assume no obligation to update any such forward-looking statements. It is important to note that our actual results could vary materially from those forward-looking statements contained herein due to many factors, including, but not limited to: changes in general economic, business and political conditions, including changes in the financial markets; continued weakness or adverse changes in the level of real estate activity, which may be caused by, among other things, high or increasing interest rates, a limited supply of mortgage funding or a weak U.S. economy; our potential inability to find suitable acquisition candidates, acquisitions in lines of business that will not necessarily be limited to our traditional areas of focus, or difficulties in integrating acquisitions; our dependence on distributions from our title insurance underwriters as our main source of cash flow; significant competition that our operating subsidiaries face; compliance with extensive government regulation of our operating subsidiaries and adverse changes in applicable laws or regulations or in their application by regulators; and other risks detailed in the "Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Information," "Risk Factors" and other sections of the Company's Form 10-K and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The following discussion should be read in conjunction with our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2012. Overview
We are a leading provider of title insurance, mortgage services and other diversified services. FNF is the nation's largest title insurance company through its title insurance underwriters - Fidelity National Title, Chicago Title, Commonwealth Land Title and Alamo Title - that collectively issue more title insurance policies than any other title company in the United States. We also hold a 55% ownership interest in American Blue Ribbon Holdings, LLC ("ABRH"), the owner and operator of the O'Charley's, Ninety Nine Restaurants, Max & Erma's, Village Inn and Bakers Square restaurant concepts, and an 87% ownership interest in J. Alexander's Holdings, LLC ("J. Alexander's"), an upscale dining restaurant owner and operator of the J. Alexander's and Stoney River Legendary Steaks ("Stoney River") concepts. In addition, we hold a 51% ownership interest in Remy International, Inc. ("Remy"), a leading designer, manufacturer, remanufacturer, marketer and distributor of aftermarket and original equipment electrical components for automobiles, light trucks, heavy-duty trucks and other vehicles. FNF also owns a minority interest in Ceridian Corporation ("Ceridian"), a leading provider of global human capital management and payment solutions.
We currently have four reporting segments as follows:
Fidelity National Title Group. This segment consists of the operations of our title insurance underwriters and related businesses. This segment provides core title insurance and escrow and other title related services including collection and trust activities, trustee's sales guarantees, recordings and reconveyances, and home warranty insurance.

Remy. This segment consists of the operations of Remy, a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ stock exchange, in which we have a 51% ownership interest. Remy is a leading designer, manufacturer, remanufacturer, marketer and distributor of aftermarket and original equipment electrical components for automobiles, light trucks, heavy-duty trucks and other vehicles.

Restaurant Group. The Restaurant Group segment consists of the operations of ABRH, in which we have a 55% ownership interest and the operations of J. Alexander's in which we have an 87% ownership interest. ABRH is the owner and operator of the O'Charley's, Ninety Nine Restaurants, Max & Erma's, Village Inn, and Bakers Square concepts. J. Alexander's is the owner and operator of the J. Alexander's and Stoney River Legendary Steaks concepts.

Corporate and Other. The corporate and other segment consists of the operations of the parent holding company, certain other unallocated corporate overhead expenses, other smaller operations, and our share in the operations of certain equity investments, including Ceridian.

Recent Developments
On February 25, 2013, we formed J. Alexander's, a restaurant company which is focused on the upscale dining segment. J. Alexander's consists of the current thirty J. Alexander's locations and the ten existing Stoney River locations. ABRH contributed the ten Stoney River locations to J. Alexander's for an approximate 28% ownership interest in the new company, giving us an aggregate 87% ownership interest in J. Alexander's including our indirect interest through ABRH. The operations of J. Alexander's will continue to be consolidated in our existing Restaurant Group segment.


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Discontinued Operations
On May 1, 2012, we completed the sale of an 85% interest in our remaining subsidiaries that write personal lines insurance to WT Holdings, Inc. for $120 million. Accordingly, the results of this business through the date of sale (which we refer to as our "at-risk" insurance business) for all periods presented are reflected in the Condensed Consolidated Statements of Earnings as discontinued operations. Total revenues from the at-risk insurance business included in discontinued operations are $36 million for the three months ending March 31, 2012. Pre-tax earnings from the at-risk insurance business included in discontinued operations are $4 million for the three months ending March 31, 2012.
Transactions with Related Parties
Our financial statements reflect related party transactions with Fidelity National Information Services ("FIS"), which is a related party. See Note A of the Notes to Condensed Consolidated Financial Statements for further details on our transactions with related parties.
Business Trends and Conditions
Fidelity National Title Group
Title insurance revenue is closely related to the level of real estate activity which includes sales, mortgage financing and mortgage refinancing. The levels of real estate activity are primarily affected by the average price of real estate sales, the availability of funds to finance purchases, mortgage interest rates and the strength of the United States economy, including employment levels. Declines in the level of real estate activity or the average price of real estate sales will adversely affect our title insurance revenues. According to the Mortgage Banker's Association ("MBA"), U.S. mortgage originations (including refinancings) were approximately $1.8 trillion, $1.3 trillion and $1.6 trillion in 2012, 2011 and 2010, respectively. As of April 2013, the MBA's Mortgage Finance Forecast estimates an approximately $1.5 trillion mortgage origination market for 2013, with the 17% decrease primarily due to decreased refinance transactions in 2013.
Since December 2008, the Federal Reserve has held the federal funds rate at 0.0%-0.25%, and has indicated that rates will stay at this level at least through 2014. Mortgage interest rates remained at historically low levels throughout 2012 and have risen marginally during the first three months of 2013. Several pieces of legislation were enacted to address the struggling mortgage market and the current economic and financial environment. On October 24, 2011, the Federal Housing Finance Agency ("FHFA") announced a series of changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program ("HARP") that would make it easier for certain borrowers who owe more than their home is worth and who are current on their mortgage payments to refinance their mortgages at lower interest rates. The new program reduces or eliminates the risk-based fees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac charge on many loans, raises the loan-to-home value ratio requirement for refinancing, and streamlines the underwriting process. According to the Federal Housing Authority ("FHA"), lenders began taking refinancing applications on December 1, 2011 under the modified HARP. We believe that the modified HARP program has had a positive impact on the volume of our refinance orders during 2012. On April 11, 2013, the FHFA announced that the modified HARP program has been extended through 2015. We are uncertain to what degree the modified HARP program may affect our results in the future.
On February 1, 2012, the Obama Administration announced new initiatives designed to increase refinancing of mortgages, reduce foreclosures and improve the housing market. Under these initiatives, among other things: (i) certain borrowers with loans insured by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac ("GSEs" and such loans, "GSE loans") and certain borrowers with non-GSE loans, through a new FHA program, would be able to refinance their mortgages and take advantage of the currently low interest rates; (ii) the FHA will begin transitioning foreclosed properties in the nation's hardest-hit cities into rental housing units; (iii) GSEs and major banks have begun offering one year of forbearance (up from three months) to certain unemployed borrowers; and (iv) the Home Affordable Modification Program ("HAMP") was extended through 2013, including easing the eligibility requirements and increasing the financial incentives for banks to participate. As indicated, the Obama Administration has already begun implementing these initiatives, except for the refinancing initiatives. The GSEs have not started the refinancing program. The Obama Administration is looking to Congress to pass legislation to implement a refinancing program for non-GSE loans. We are uncertain to what degree these initiatives may affect our results in the future.
During 2010, a number of lenders imposed freezes on foreclosures in some or all states as they reviewed their foreclosure practices. In response to these freezes, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency ("OCC") is concurrently reviewing the foreclosure practices in the residential mortgage loan servicing industry. On April 13, 2011, the OCC and other federal regulators announced formal consent orders against several national bank mortgage servicers and third-party servicer providers for inappropriate practices related to residential mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure processing. The consent orders require the servicers to promptly correct deficiencies and make improvements in practices for residential mortgage loan servicing and foreclosure processing, including improvements to future communications with borrowers and a comprehensive "look back" to


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assess whether foreclosures complied with federal and state laws and whether any deficiencies in the process or related documentation resulted in financial injury to borrowers. We are not involved in these enforcement actions and we do not believe that we are exposed to significant losses resulting from faulty foreclosure practices. Our title insurance underwriters issue title policies on real estate owned properties to new purchasers and lenders to those purchasers. We believe that these policies will not result in significant additional claims exposure to us because even if a court sets aside a foreclosure due to a defect in documentation, the foreclosing lender would be required to return to our insureds all funds obtained from them, resulting in reduced exposure under the title insurance policy. Further, we believe that under current law and the rights we have under our policies, we would have the right to seek recovery from the foreclosing lender in the event of a failure to comply with state laws or local practices in connection with a foreclosure. Many states continue to evaluate foreclosure practices and related legislation may change in the future. The consent orders imposed by the federal regulators have continued to delay lender foreclosure completions. In January 2012, ten large mortgage servicers concluded the reviews required by the 2011 consent orders and agreed to monetary settlements.
On February 9, 2012, federal officials, state attorneys general and representatives of Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and Ally Financial agreed to a $25 billion settlement of federal and state investigations into the foreclosure practices of banks and other mortgage servicers from September 2008 to December 2011. Under the settlement, approximately 1,000,000 underwater borrowers will have their mortgages reduced by lenders and 300,000 homeowners will be able to refinance their homes at lower interest rates. We are uncertain to what degree these initiatives have affected our results or may affect our results in the future. In April of 2013, payments to borrowers under this order have begun to be made.
In addition to state-level regulation, segments of our title insurance business are subject to regulation by federal agencies, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ("CFPB"). The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 established the CFPB, and in January 2012, President Obama appointed its first director. The CFPB has been given broad authority to regulate, among other areas, the mortgage and real estate markets in matters pertaining to consumers. This authority includes the enforcement of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act formerly placed with the Department of Housing and Urban Development. On July 9, 2012, the CFPB introduced a number of proposed rules related to the enforcement of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act and the Truth in Lending Act, including, among others, measures designed to (i) simplify financing documentation and (ii) require lenders to deliver to consumers a statement of final financing charges (and the related annual percentage rate) at least three business days prior to the closing. A final version of these rules is expected to be published later in 2013. We cannot be certain what impact, if any, the final rules, or the CFPB generally, will have on our title insurance business.
Historically, real estate transactions have produced seasonal revenue levels for title insurers. The first calendar quarter is typically the weakest quarter in terms of revenue due to the generally low volume of home sales during January and February. The third calendar quarter has been typically the strongest in terms of revenue primarily due to a higher volume of home sales in the summer months and the fourth quarter is usually also strong due to commercial entities desiring to complete transactions by year-end. We have noted short term fluctuations through recent years in resale and refinance transactions as a result of changes in interest rates and the implementation and subsequent expiration of government programs designed to stimulate the real estate market. During 2012 and the first three months of 2013, we experienced an increase in existing home sales to the highest volume levels since 2007. We have also seen a decline in total housing inventory to the lowest levels since 2005.
Because commercial real estate transactions tend to be driven more by supply and demand for commercial space and occupancy rates in a particular area rather than by macroeconomic events, we believe that our commercial real estate title insurance business is less dependent on the industry cycles discussed above than our residential real estate title business. In 2012 and through the first three months of 2013, we have experienced an increase in fee per file and in the volume of commercial transactions from the previous years, which indicates an improvement in commercial markets.
We limit our maximum loss exposure by reinsuring risks with other insurers under excess of loss and case-by-case ("facultative") reinsurance agreements. Reinsurance agreements generally provide that the reinsurer is liable for loss and loss adjustment expense payments exceeding the amount retained by the ceding company. However, the ceding company remains primarily liable in the event the reinsurer does not meet its contractual obligations. Facultative reinsurance agreements are entered into with other title insurers when the transaction to be insured will exceed state statutory or self-imposed limits. Excess of loss reinsurance protects us from a loss from a single occurrence. Our excess of loss coverage is split into two tiers. The first tier provides coverage for residential and commercial transactions up to $100 million per loss occurrence, subject to a $20 million retention per loss. The second tier provides additional coverage for commercial transactions from $100 million to $400 million of loss per per occurrence, with the Company participating at 20%. Remy
Remy manufactures and sells auto parts, principally starter motors and alternators, as well as hybrid electric motors, for sale to original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and aftermarket customers. Remy manufactures products for automobiles as well as light and heavy duty commercial vehicles. The OEM market for auto parts is dependent on levels of new vehicle production, which


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in turn, is affected by the overall economy, consumer confidence, discounts and incentives offered by automakers and the availability of funds to finance purchases.
In its aftermarket operations, Remy's results are affected by the strength of the economy and by gas prices, but do not follow the same cycles as original equipment market sales. In a weaker economy, drivers tend to keep their vehicles and repair them rather than buying new vehicles. Lower gas prices have historically tended to result in more miles driven, which increases the frequency with which auto repairs are needed. Nevertheless, a weak economy also may reduce miles driven. Over the long term, improvements in the durability of original equipment and aftermarket parts has reduced, and is expected to further reduce, the number of units sold in the aftermarket. Aftermarket revenues are also affected by other factors, including severe weather (which tends to lead to increased sales) and competitive pressures. Many parts retailers and warehouse distributors purchase starters and alternators from only one or two suppliers, under contracts that run for five years or less. When contracts are up for renewal, competitors tend to bid very aggressively to replace the incumbent supplier, although the cost of switching from the incumbent tends to mitigate this competition.
Restaurant Group
The restaurant industry is highly competitive and is often affected by changes in consumer tastes and discretionary spending patterns; changes in general economic conditions; public safety conditions or concerns; demographic trends; weather conditions; the cost of food products, labor, energy and other operating costs; and governmental regulations. The restaurant industry is also characterized by high capital investments for new restaurants and relatively high fixed or semi-variable restaurant operating expenses. Because of the high fixed and semi-variable expenses, changes in sales in existing restaurants are generally expected to significantly affect restaurant profitability because many restaurant costs and expenses are not expected to change at the same rate as sales. Restaurant profitability can also be negatively affected by inflationary and regulatory increases in operating costs and other factors. The most significant commodities that may affect our cost of food and beverage are beef, seafood, poultry, and dairy, which have accounted for almost 45 percent of our overall cost of food and beverage in the past. Generally, temporary increases in these costs are not passed on to guests; however, in the past, we have adjusted menu prices to compensate for increased costs of a more permanent nature. Average weekly sales per restaurant are typically higher in the first and fourth quarters than in other quarters, and we typically generate a disproportionate share of our earnings from operations in the first and fourth quarters. Holidays, severe weather and other disruptive conditions may impact sales volumes seasonally in some operating regions.
In 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ("Affordable Care Act") was passed and becomes effective in 2014. We are continuing to assess the impact of the Affordable Care Act on our health care benefit costs. The imposition of any requirement that we provide health insurance benefits to employees that are more extensive than the health insurance benefits we currently provide, or the imposition of additional employer paid employment taxes on income earned by our employees, could have a material adverse effect on our results of operations in the future. The Affordable Care Act is likely to similarly affect the restaurant industry in general. Additionally, our Restaurant Group and suppliers may also be affected by higher minimum wage and benefit standards, which could result in higher costs for goods and services supplied to us.
Our revenues in future periods will continue to be subject to these and other factors that are beyond our control and, as a result, are likely to fluctuate.


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