Some financial companies have accomplished to grow steadily due to the consequences of the last economic crisis; and those that service loans have particularly done so. Below we will look into three financial firms, Ocwen Financial Corp (NYSE:OCN), Home Loan Servicing Solutions Ltd (NASDAQ:HLSS) and Washington Federal Inc. (NASDAQ:WFSL) in order to elucidate if they are worth our trust.
A company in expansion
One of the companies that could profit from the last economic crisis is Ocwen Financial Corp (NYSE:OCN). By buying underperforming mortgage rights to banks, the company has amassed substantial earnings on the back of a recuperating real estate market, a growing asset base and lower legally required capital levels than the banks. The firm’s cash flow generation capability is also impressive. Last quarter, the company generated over $400 million in cash flow, on a market cap of $5.76 billion.
Also remarkable is Ocwen Financial Corp (NYSE:OCN)’s continuous expansion. Over the past few years several firm and mortgage servicing right (MSR) acquisitions have taken place. This should continue as the real estate market has not yet fully recovered, thus offering the firm plenty of opportunities to buy distressed servicing portfolios at convenient prices. Some of the latest acquisitions include Homeward and ResCap, which inflated the unpaid principal balances portfolio by 270%, to approximately $470 billion.
Last quarter’s results also portray an encouraging outlook. Income from operations grew by 108%, year over year, to $163.1 million; revenue rose by 147% to a record $406.7 million; and earnings were over double last year’s equivalent quarter, reaching $0.31 per share.
The servicing sector is currently the biggest source of revenue, and it will need loans to service in the upcoming years. As banks are improving, the company is also preparing for the future; the acquisitions of Homeward and ResCap will serve this purpose, providing Ocwen Financial Corp (NYSE:OCN) with its own credit origination. Another way in which the firm is further developing the servicing segment is by expanding its capabilities through reverse mortgages and home equity lines of credit, which should drive growth in the upcoming years.
Trading substantially cheap in relation to its consensus earnings (8.79 times P/E), its cash generation and returns, while offering compelling long term growth prospects –consensus estimate expects a 25% growth per year over the next five, versus the industry mean of 7.5%-, I’d say that Ocwen Financial Corp (NYSE:OCN) is a buy.
A company with solid market share
Washington Federal Inc. (NASDAQ:WFSL) is a company that has successfully compelled individual investors to put their money down, mainly in loans of various types, but also in U.S. government and agency obligations, amongst others. This simple business model that takes deposits and issues loans is poised to do well in a recovering economy and has, in fact, delivered consistently increasing profits over the last 9 quarters. Furthermore, its expense base is relatively small compared to its peers, and this has helped drive its bottom-line.
Although loans and deposits have been down in general lately, this has not been the case for Washington Federal Inc. (NASDAQ:WFSL). Contrary to its peers, the firm has been augmenting the amount of loans and deposits processed. Actually, net loans accounted for almost $7.5 billion last quarter, which stands for 57% of the company´s total assets. This trend is expected to continue as interest rates stabilize and the economy recoups. Moreover, it has been increasing market share, workforce and physical presence through several acquisitions, including South Valley, Charter Bank and Western National Bank, which have certainly helped its financials. Further acquisitions are likely given Washington Federal Inc. (NASDAQ:WFSL)’s strong capital and liquidity position, and should drive growth in the upcoming years.
Strong financials do not only allow acquisitions, but also share repurchases and dividend payouts, and this is the way it has panned out. The firm has been consistently buying back shares and currently yields 2.08% in the form of dividends. Trading at only 13 times its earnings, versus the 23.6 times P/E industry mean, while offering above average profitability ratios. I’d say that Washington Federal Inc. (NASDAQ:WFSL) is a buy (or at least deserves your attention in the months to come).