AmeriHome plans to go public – Let’s look at the numbers

California-based lender reveals huge growth in correspondent and direct-to-consumer channels ahead of public offering

AmeriHome on Thursday became the latest mortgage lender to file for a public offering, the latest to do so amid a coronavirus pandemic that has helped spur record origination volume this year.

The lender told the SEC in a filing that it plans to raise at least $100 million as a placeholder for an upcoming public offering, though it did not disclose the ultimate size of the offering. Renaissance Capital speculated that it could ultimately raise up to $300 million in an IPO.

Like other mortgage firms, California-based AmeriHome has captured a glut of business over the last year due to low interest rates and paltry inventory. Year-to-date, AmeriHome has booked $642 million in revenue for the 12 months that ended June 30, according to the S-1 filing.

“We have created a flexible and scalable platform with a modern purpose-built infrastructure, advanced data and analytics capabilities, all leveraging our management team’s collective experience to achieve what we believe is a highly efficient cost structure to target profitability in all market environments,” the company said in its S-1. “This has led to strong growth and performance, evidenced by 21 consecutive quarters of profitability while growing our production volume 187.4% from 2015 to LTM Q2 2020, positioning us as the third largest correspondent producer.”

AmeriHome, founded in 2013, operates correspondent and consumer direct channels, and also sports a related servicing division.

“We deliberately chose to enter these business segments based on a purchase origination orientation, ability to efficiently achieve scale, and the ongoing opportunities afforded by owning mortgage servicing rights all to achieve stability of earnings through varying economic cycles,” the company said. “Through our correspondent channel, we primarily purchase and aggregate residential mortgages from trusted third-party originators, who we refer to as ‘correspondent sellers.’

“Our consumer direct channel then originates mortgages directly with individual homeowners, primarily for refinancing opportunities with our existing servicing customers. Our servicing segment allows us to retain the customer relationship from these originations while taking an asset management approach to achieve steady returns on the servicing.”

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AmeriHome is currently the nation’s third-largest correspondent lender, with relationships with over 650 correspondent lenders, including independent mortgage bankers, community and regional banks, as well as credit unions. AmeriHome produced about $27 billion in volume through its correspondent channel over the first half of the year – about 8% of the market, the company said in its S-1. It’s a huge growth engine for AmeriHome – in 2014 the correspondent channel produced $1.9 billion in volume representing just 0.5% market share.

According to its S-1, overall production volume for the 12 months that ended on June 30 was $53.7 billion. And the servicing portfolio – where it earns fees between 25 and 56.5 basis points – as of June 30 was $87.9 billion. AmeriHome uses the bank Cenlar to subservice 99% of its mortgage loans. Its MSR portfolio contains 41% government and 59% conventional loans as of June 30.

Though correspondent is the bedrock of AmeriHome’s business, it’s direct-to-consumer channel is also growing quickly. Per the S-1, the majority of consumer-direct origination activity is refinancing its existing customers. “By proactively offering attractive refinancing terms to existing customers, we can minimize MSR portfolio attrition and build customer loyalty by improving their mortgage experience,” the company said. “These attractive refinance terms have also contributed to our Net Promoter Score of 78.”

Overall, the consumer-direct channel represents 3.5% of AmeriHome’s mortgage production, a growth of 2.5 times what it was in January 2018.

AmeriHome plans to grow its D-to-C channel beyond servicing its own customers. “Over time, we have expanded our consumer direct platform to allow us to acquire customers whose loans we do not currently service, which represents a significant opportunity for the future growth for our originations business,” the company said.

This is likely to be a record year for mortgage IPOs. Rocket Companies, the parent of Quicken Loans, was the first to enter the fray in August. Rocket, the undisputed king of direct-to-consumer, is now valued at $45 billion. Weeks later, a report surfaced that loanDepot, which operates retail and wholesale channels, is mulling an IPO later this year that would value the company at as much as $15 billion. United Wholesale Mortgage announced its public plans in September, with the largest wholesale player merging with a blank-check company to go public at a $16.1 billion valuation in the fourth quarter. And on the same day that AmeriHome’s S-1 hit the wires, it was reported that Texas-based lender Caliber Home Loans could go public next week at a valuation north of $2 billion.

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