Freddie Mac dramatically reduced its quarterly losses in 2008’s first quarter with a net loss of just $151 million or 66 cents per share, according to documents filed today with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

That represents a large improvement from the previous quarter, when the McLean, Va.-based mortgage finance firm lost $2.5 billion. Today’s results also outshine competitor Fannie Mae, which announced last week it lost $2.2 billion in the first quarter.

"Throughout the first quarter, Freddie Mac struck a careful balance of managing risk and seizing business opportunities," Buddy Piszel, Freddie’s chief financial officer, said in a statement. "We continued to make prudent provision for credit losses, monitor our credit book closely, and maintain our disciplined approach to managing interest-rate and other risks.”

Part of the company’s gains came from accounting changes, but revenues also soared back into positive territory at Freddie. A $621 million revenue loss at 2007’s end turned into $1.5 billion in revenue last quarter.

Like just about every other housing-related company, Freddie took hits during the quarter; the company wrote off $528 million in credit losses. It also noted that its credit-related expenses rose to $1.4 billion, thanks to single–family market troubles: loan delinquencies, home foreclosures, and eroding values (and subsequent per-property losses).

Alison Rice is senior editor, online, for BUILDER magazine.