Express America Mortgage Corp. has become the latest in the industry to go on the auction block. It said Wednesday that it had been "approached by several major financial institutions" expressing interest in a purchase.

The company said it had asked its senior financial adviser, Tri-River Capital Group, Hoboken, N.J., to "aid the board of directors in evaluating the potential sale of the company as well as other strategic alternatives."

Other companies that are weighing offers or seeking merger partners are Margaretten Financial Corp., Perth Amboy, N.J.; Arbor Home Mortgage Corp., Westbury, N.Y.; and Lomas Financial Corp., Dallas. In addition, the industry has been rife with rumors of other home-loan companies that may be targets or may be on the block.

Express America, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., also reported earnings for the second quarter. Right in the mainstream of recent trends, it reported a drop in profits -- to $316,000, or 6 cents a share, from $1.6 million, or 45 cents a share.

The company said its results were affected by competitive pricing that had reduced margins.

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