Mortgage giant Fannie Mae posts $1.3B profit in 4Q; paying $1.9B dividend to government

Mortgage giant Fannie Mae is reporting net income of $1.3 billion for the fourth quarter. That's down sharply from $6.5 billion a year earlier due largely to losses on investments used to hedge against swings in interest rates.

Still, it was the 12th straight profitable quarter for the government-controlled company.

Washington-based Fannie also said Friday it will pay a dividend of $1.9 billion to the U.S. Treasury next month. Fannie will have paid $136.4 billion in dividends, exceeding the $116 billion it received from taxpayers during the financial crisis.

The government rescued Fannie and smaller sibling Freddie Mac in September 2008.

For Fannie and Freddie, the decline in long-term interest rates last year brought losses on derivatives, financial transactions the companies use to hedge against rate swings.