WASHINGTON -- Boosted by the housing market rebound, bailed-out mortgage-finance giant
The company on Thursday reported $10.1 billion in net income in the second quarter, nearly double what it earned a year earlier but down from a record $17.2 billion profit in the first three months of the year.
Still, the continued streak of profitability for the company, which had to be rescued by the government in 2008 along with sibling firm
Fannie Mae said it would make the dividend payment next month. It would bring the total it has paid in dividends since the government seizure to $105 billion.
Taxpayers have pumped $117.1 billion into Fannie Mae since 2008 to keep the company afloat, though nothing since the end of 2011.
On Wednesday, Freddie Mac reported $5 billion in net income for the second quarter and said it would make a $4.4 billion dividend payment to the government next month. It was the seventh-straight quarterly profit for Freddie Mac.
Freddie Mac has received $72.3 billion from the federal government and after the September payment would have paid $41 billion in dividends.
Under the terms of the bailout, the dividend payments do not reduce the amount of money the company owes to the federal government. But the payments reduce the overall cost to taxpayers of the rescue.
"We've obviously made very good progress," said Fannie Mae Chief Executive Timothy J. Mayopoulos. In a conference call with reporters, he declined to forecast when the total paid in dividends would exceed the taxpayer money pumped into the company.
Fannie and Freddie, which purchase and guarantee mortgages, have returned to profitability on the strength of rising home prices. The dividend payments have reduced the overall cost of the largest financial crisis bailouts while also helping lower the federal budget deficit.
Despite that, President
He backed a bipartisan Senate bill that would wind down Fannie and Freddie over five years and replace them with a new government agency funded by industry fees that would play a much smaller role in guaranteeing mortgage debt.
Fannie, Freddie and the
Mayopoulos said Fannie welcomed the debate about reforming the housing finance system, which he expected "will take a number of years to achieve."
The company's second-quarter earnings were driven primarily by a 4.1% increase in home prices during that period, which reduced the amount of money the company needed to reserve for future losses on mortgages it owns or backs.
[For the record, 2:45 p.m. Aug. 8: An earlier version of this post said the Fannie Mae chief executive's last name was Mayopoulis on the second reference. It is Mayopoulos.]