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Thornburg Mortgage Names CEO, Reinstates Dividend

Thornburg Mortgage said Tuesday that it promoted its chief operating officer to CEO and reinstated a quarterly dividend despite ongoing turmoil in the mortgage market.

"As there is still uncertainty and turmoil in the global mortgage finance and credit markets, Thornburg Mortgage remains cautious in its near-term outlook," newly appointed Chief Executive Larry Goldstone said in a statement.

The company said, however, it expects market conditions and profitability to improve in 2008.

Goldstone, who is also Thornburg's president, replaced Garrett Thornburg, who will stay on as chairman, effective immediately.

Thornburg and Goldstone jointly founded Thornburg Mortgage in 1992.

The residential mortgage lender will pay shareholders on record on Dec. 31 a dividend of 25 cents per common share on Jan. 30.

Thornburg had suspended its dividend after the third quarter, when it lost about $1.08 billion, or $8.83 per share. The weak third-quarter stemmed largely from losses on the sale of "jumbo" mortgages, which investors stopped buying as credit markets tightened in July and August.

Jumbo mortgages are too large to be bought by mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Thornburg Mortgage paid out a dividend of 68 cents per share for the second quarter, but delayed the payment by several weeks because of disruptions in the mortgage market.

Thornburg Mortgage shares, which have fallen about 65 percent since hitting a 12-month high of $28.40 in May, closed on Monday at $9.61.