Nationstar opens trading on NYSE

Nationstar Mortgage priced its initial public offering at $14 a share Thursday morning, with trading under way on the New York Stock Exchange.

Shares for the mortgage servicer, under the ticker symbol NSM, opened slightly below the IPO price, but rallied in the late afternoon to close at $14.26.

The company plans to sell roughly 16.7 million shares in the IPO, raising $233 million. Nationstar initially planned to raise $400 million when it filed to go public in May 2011.

Underwriters, the largest of which include Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Citigroup, have an option to buy an additional 2.5 million shares.

Company officials renewed efforts to go public in January, with shares rumored to start trading sometime this week.

The servicer returned to a $20.8 million profit in 2011 after it lost $9.9 million a year earlier. Revenues increased 44.5% to $377.8 million from $261.4 million in 2010.

Nationstar, based in Lewisville, Texas, agreed to a deal Tuesday to purchase $63 billion of mortgage servicing rights from Aurora Bank. Both companies declined to comment on the agreement.

As of Dec. 31, Nationstar serviced more than 645,000 residential mortgages with an unpaid principal balance of $107 billion, up from $12.7 billion four years earlier. The company employs about 2,500 people, all in the U.S.

About $53 billion, or 53.6%, of that portfolio falls under subservicing, in which Nationstar services loans outsourced by other MSR or mortgage holders. The company said it expects to enter more of these agreements after it held none as recent as Dec. 31, 2007, according to regulatory filings.

Nationstar also originated $3.4 billion in mortgages in 2011, up from $2.8 billion in 2010.

The company, a former Centex subsidiary, is owned by Fortress Investment Group, a global investment manager with approximately $43.7 billion of assets under management. Fortress will control 80.8% of Nationstar common stock or 78.5% if underwriters exercise their overallotment.


3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

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