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Fannie Mae to restate earnings

Amy Scott Dec 6, 2006


BOB MOON: There’s been no accounting for years of make-believe money at Fannie Mae until now. So massive are the financial holdings of the mortgage giant, that it will be getting lots of attention today when it finally restates earnings. Marketplace’s Amy Scott reports.

AMY SCOTT: Fannie Mae spent more than a billion dollars reviewing its books. An army of outside consultants took over the company cafeteria.

Analysts estimate the resulting restatement could wipe out as much as $11 billion in profits.

Regulators say that between 1998 and 2004 Fannie Mae manipulated its earnings to meet bonus targets and Wall Street expectations.

Analyst Brian Gardner with Keefe Bruyette and Woods says the restatement’s timing is great for the company. Congress has been hammering out tougher regulations for Fannie Mae and its close cousin Freddie Mac.

BRIAN GARDNER: It sends a message that the company is continuing to get its house back in order, and that improves its political standing in Washington.

The company’s standing with investors has held up despite the housing slowdown. At yesterday’s close Fannie Mae’s stock was up 25 percent since its low five months ago.

In New York, I’m Amy Scott for Marketplace.

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