Genworth pressured by Alberta housing market

Mortgage insurer Genworth MI Canada Inc. has seen 25 per cent wiped off the value of its stock in the past year as concern rises about its exposure to the declining housing market in Alberta. Although the company has exceeded earnings in its three latest quarters, CIBC World Markets analyst Paul Holden thinks that Genworth’s earnings will slip for the fourth quarter when it reports next week. Holden estimates that the Alberta housing market fell 10-15 per cent in the fourth quarter and in a client note he says: “Unemployment in Alberta continues to climb higher, housing volumes remain soft and house prices are starting to crack,” Mr. Holden writes. “We maintain our view that higher losses from Alberta are coming, it’s just a matter of when.” Genworth reports on Feb. 4.

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