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updated: 7/26/2011 12:11 PM

Fidelity National jumps after profit beats esimates

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Fidelity National Financial Inc., the largest U.S. title insurer, climbed the most in a year after profit beat analysts' estimates on a rebound in sales to commercial real estate clients.

The insurer jumped 90 cents, or 5.7 percent, to $16.66 at 12:05 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.

Second-quarter earnings per share of 36 cents beat by 5 cents the average estimate of four analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. Net income was $80 million, compared with $139.6 million a year earlier when the insurer recorded an after-tax gain of $63 million tied to the sale of a claims-management unit, the Jacksonville, Florida-based company said late yesterday in a statement.

"The strength of our commercial business" aided results amid a slump in the residential market, Chairman William P. Foley said in the statement.

Title insurers use their records and public documents to verify a seller is the property's true owner and that the real estate is free from liens. Revenue from the commercial segment climbed 38 percent to $93.8 million from $68.1 million a year earlier.

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