Freddie Mac makes $4.6 billion profit in quarter

May 8, 2013 at 4:29 PM

WASHINGTON, May 8 (UPI) -- Bailed out U.S. mortgage giant Freddie Mac said Wednesday it earned $4.6 billion in the first quarter of the year due to a recovery in the housing market.

"Not surprisingly, the strong rebound in the housing market ... continued to be reflected in our excellent financial performance in the first quarter," said the financial firm's chief executive officer, Donald Layton.

Based on its first-quarter performance, Freddie Mac, which is the nickname for the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., will pay the U.S. Treasury Department a $7 billion dividend payment, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The payment will bring the total the company has paid the Treasury in dividends to $34.7 billion.

The mortgage giant, however, has not yet reached financial targets that would allow it to write up tax assets that were written down during the financial crisis and the collapse of the housing market.

Although it could reach those targets in the next quarter, "We're sort of not even getting to first base yet," Layton said.

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