PASADENA, Calif. - CWM Mortgage Holdings Inc. said it bought $600 million of adjustable-rate loans in the fourth quarter to hold in its investment portfolio.

It did not disclose the sellers, but a spokesman said Countrywide Credit Industries, CWM's former parent, was not among them in any substantial way.

The purchase is being funded through normal credit facilities with Wall Street and banks, he said.

Michael W. Perry, chief operating officer, said, "This significant increase in the company's portfolio of mortgage loans held for investment was undertaken in an effort to generate continued earnings which are less dependent" on loan-purchase and securitization volumes.

CWM also announced unaudited earnings of $8.8 million, or 27 cents a share, for the fourth quarter, compared to $1.7 million, or 7 cents a share, for the fourth quarter of 1993. For the quarter ended Sept. 30, 1994, earnings per share were 26 cents.

For the year ended Dec. 31, earnings were $27.8 million, or 86 cents a share, compared to $2.5 million, or 13 cents a share, for the year ended Dec. 31, 1993.

The company declared a cash dividend of 27 cents a share for the quarter, payable March 1 to shareholders of record of Feb. 13. The company paid a cash dividend of 12 cents a share for the comparable quarter in 1993.

During the fourth quarter, the company and its subsidiaries purchased about $1.5 billion in jumbo and nonconforming loans through its conduit program and settled five multiclass mortgage-backed securities (REMICs) and whole loan sales totaling about $677 million.

CWM Holdings, spun off from Countrywide about a year ago, is a real estate investment trust that buys and securitizes jumbo loans, does warehouse lending in the mortgage business, and originates construction and other loans.

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