WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The mortgage insurer Triad Guaranty Inc. said Thursday that it had earned $8.4 million in the fourth quarter, 1% less than a year earlier.

The drop may reflect a jump in refinancing. Mortgage insurance companies generally insure a smaller percentage of refinance loans than purchase loans, because in many states borrowers need not carry the insurance after they reach 25% equity.

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