WASHINGTON — The mortgage giant Freddie Mac earned $4.5 billion from October through December, its fifth-straight profitable quarter.
The government-controlled company credited fewer delinquencies on home loans and rising home prices for the gains.
Freddie Mac said it paid a dividend of $1.8 billion to the Treasury and requested no additional federal aid.
The earnings compared with net income of about $619 million in the fourth quarter of 2011.
The government rescued Freddie and its larger sibling, Fannie Mae, during the financial crisis. Taxpayers have spent about $170 billion to rescue them, the costliest bailout of the crisis.
Under a federal policy adopted last summer, Fannie and Freddie must turn over their quarterly profits to the government.
The change was made to ensure they pay the government back.