Skip to main content

Ocwen Financial - making the best of hard times

Everyone knows the current environment has been hard on financials, especially those that have any involvement in residential mortgages.

There are a few firms that are managing to use certain company-specific advantages to hold their own and even prosper. Ocwen Financial (OCN) may be one of these.

Background --

Ocwen Financial Corporation is a business process outsourcing provider to the financial services industry, specializing in loan servicing, mortgage fulfillment and receivables management services.

The company currently operates within two lines of business:

Ocwen Asset Management - comprised of the Servicing, Loans and Residuals and Asset Management Vehicles segments

The Servicing segment provides outsourced loan servicing for subprime loans but does not own the loans. Many of the loans are actually securitized and owned by trusts. The Loans and Residuals segment does hold loans for resale. Asset Management Vehicles holds loans as investments and does securitizations.

Ocwen Solutions - comprised of the Technology Products, Mortgage Services and Financial Services segments.

Technology Products comprises a set of systems that provide support for life of loan activities from origination to servicing to collections. Mortgage Services facilitates loan origination as an outsourcing provider. Financial Services provides debt collection and receivables management.

Risks --

Delinquencies are up industry-wide. Delinquencies and foreclosures result in "advances" and other costs to the company.

During any period in which the borrower is not making payments, the company is required under most servicing agreements to advance funds to the investment trust to meet contractual principal and interest remittance requirements for investors. Luckily, as the servicer, Ocwen is obligated to advance funds only to the extent that they believe the advances are recoverable. In addition, for any advances that are not covered by loan proceeds, most of the pooling and servicing agreements provide for reimbursement at the loan pool level, either by using collections on other loans or by requesting reimbursement from the securitization trust. This at least limits Ocwen's exposure.

Ocwen is also required to pay property taxes and insurance premiums, to process foreclosures and to advance funds to maintain, repair and market real estate properties on behalf of investors.

The bottom line is that it costs the company money to finance these advances and there is a potential that some of the funds will not be recovered.

The company also has a host of derivatives, auction rate securities and various other financial vehicles that have seen some stress in the current environment.

Prepayments are another risk as they tend to reduce the amount of profit derived from the loans.

Ocwen's Advantages --

The company has developed a set of proprietary software tailored to its business. This expertise in software helps make the company a low-cost competitor.

The company has long had a business segment focused on debt recovery. Ocwen last June acquired NCI, one of the largest collections companies in the U.S. With the difficulties in the mortgage market currently, there is no lack of business in this segment. Though recoveries may not be as large as in normal times, the increase in volume more than makes up for it.

Ocwen has used their systems and process expertise to ramp up collections operations offshore. This is further reducing costs for the company even as more collections agents are brought online.

Ocwen has focused on creating repeatable processes and models that can be taught to collections agents and has created flexible systems with scripting engines to ensure that collections processes are consistent.

As NCI is further integrated into Ocwen, NCI will be moved over to the Ocwen systems and the benefits of Ocwen's scripted approach will be used to reduce variability of collectors' performance, enhancing recovery.

Conclusion --

Ocwen is a small cap company that is surviving the mortgage meltdown. Since they do originations, servicing and collections for other financial companies, they have been less hurt by the current environment. They expect to be able to pick up market share as other similar companies withdraw from the industry.

The strong technology segment and offshoring initiatives allow Ocwen to operate as a low-cost provider of business processes.

The company's strength in collections positions it well to benefit from the tough times and the struggles of lenders and borrowers alike.

The company is profitable and reasonably well financed for its size. It suffers by association with the financial sector in general. Given how out of favor financials are now, the stock can be acquired at a reasonable price even as Ocwen is positioning itself to come through the current troublesome environment as a stronger, more efficient company.

Disclosure: author is long OCN at time of writing

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Running TradeRadar on Windows 7 and Windows 8

Development of the original TradeRadar Stock Inspector software was begun back in the days before Windows 7 and Windows 8 were available.

As these newer versions of Windows have become more popular, we have heard from some users that they are having problems installing and running TradeRadar on their newer PCs.

The good news is that TradeRadar will work just fine on Windows 7 and Windows 8. All you have to do is adjust the Windows Compatibility Settings to ensure TradeRadar runs as intended.

It is recommended that you can apply Compatibility Settings when running the initial installation; however, it is also possible to apply Compatibility Settings after the program has been installed.

Prior to installation
After downloading the install program, go to the folder where you have stored the TradeRadarStkInsp_7_Setup.exe or TradeRadarStkInsp_7_PRO_Setup.exe executable. Right-click on the executable file and select Properties. Click the Compatibility tab. Adjust the Compatibility mode to …

Durable Goods report for Sept just so-so but Computer segment is on fire

The Durable Goods advanced report for September 2011 was released on Wednesday.

I like to dig into the Durable Goods report because it can be useful for seeing how tech in aggregate is performing and how the sector may perform in the future. I always focus on two particular measures: shipments and new orders. Let's see how it played out last month.

Shipments -- 

I generally give less importance to Shipments since this is a backward looking measure reflecting orders that have been confirmed, manufactured and shipped. It's similar to earnings reports -- it's good to know but the data is in the past and we're more interested in the future. The following chart shows how September shipments looked for the overall tech sector:


Results for the overall tech sector were a bit weak but take a look at the next chart which tracks the Computers and related products segment:


Results here were actually quite good and, to make things even better, the previous month was revised upward.

N…

Alert HQ has moved!

End of an era!

This site was started way back in 2006/2007 to showcase my blog posts and the Alert HQ buy signals and sell signals. Alert HQ grew to include other kinds of stock alerts including Swing Signals, Trend Busters, Trend Leaders, Cash Flow Kings and more.

In the meantime, I built a sister site, TradingStockAlerts.com and I started using some of the same Alert HQ content over there. As a result, I am discontinuing the Alert HQ data here at Trade-Radar.com

The good news, however, is that all the Alert HQ signals and stock screens are still completely free. In addition, the pages have been enhanced so that you can hover over a stock symbol and a small chart will pop up so you can get a quick look at the stock's recent price action. If you click on a symbol it will take you to a page with plenty of financial and technical analysis information (still free!) as well as a larger chart that you can play with in terms of adding or deleting indicators, moving averages, etc.

Click …