Plaza Home Mortgage Posts 8% Profit Drop

Plaza Home Mortgage Corp., whose president resigned earlier this week, said its profit for the second quarter dropped 8%.

Earnings fell to $3.3 million, or 30 cents a share, from $3.7 million, or 34 cents a share, for the same period a year earlier. The mortgage banking company's profit for the first half of the year fell 11% to $6.2 million, or 56 cents a share, from $7 million, or 63 cents a share.

The company said loan production by Plaza offices outside of California hit record levels. In California, the housing market remains soft, however, affecting the number of new mortgage loans.

John T. French, Plaza's chairman and chief executive officer, said the company opened a wholesale loan origination office in the Chicago area last week and a retail lending office in McLean, Va., in June as part of an ongoing growth plan.

Plaza last month completed the acquisition of Sandia Mortgage Corp. of Albuquerque, N.M., and its $3.3-billion loan-servicing portfolio. In large part because of that deal, Plaza's loan-servicing portfolio of $7 billion as of June 30 was nearly triple the $2.4 billion reported a year earlier.

In releasing its second-quarter financial statement late Wednesday, Plaza made no mention of the resignation Monday of President James M. Weld. The company said earlier that French would assume the president's title. Weld said he resigned to pursue other activities.

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