Calling out Fannie Mae on earnings

Steve Tripoli Nov 9, 2007


Scott Jagow: The mortgage company Fannie Mae always seems to be in trouble. This week has been especially bad. The New York Attorney General is looking into some of the mortgages Fannie Mae buys. The company’s stock is down. And today, Fannie Mae will have to face investors’ questions on a conference call. Here’s Steve Tripoli.

Steve Tripoli: Today’s call is supposed to come after Fannie turns in three quarters’ worth of overdue Securities and Exchange Commission filings. But Fannie’s not even promising to get those in on time.

David Trainer’s an analyst at New Constructs in Tennessee. He says Fannie’s in for an earful on this call.

David Trainer: They’re gonna have to face the music for why they’ve not been reporting as regularly as possible. They have to face the music on all the questions that are plaguing all financial firms.

Including worries specific to Fannie. The company’s catching heat from New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. He’s investigating whether Fannie bought mortgages based on overblown appraisals.

Trainer says news like that means investors and analysts will question the company’s basics today.

Trainer: How big are your write-downs gonna be? Are you gonna go out of business? Is the housing market ever gonna recover?

The fact that Fannie recently had to restate past earnings because of accounting irregularities doesn’t help. Its own track record, plus the turmoil in mortgage markets, should make today’s conference call interesting.

I’m Steve Tripoli for Marketplace.

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