Altisource Portfolio Solutions' (ASPS) strong fourth-quarter showing prompted Stephens to raise its 2012 earnings per share estimates to $4.51 a share from $3.81 a share.

Altisource's headcount rose 66% during 2011 as it took on the Litton Loan portfolio, purchased by its former parent, Ocwen Financial Corp. (OCN). About $170,000 in JPMorgan/Saxon loans will be brought on over the next two months, Stephens added.

Stephens said the revenue in the mortgage services segment was $104.5 million, up 30.3% year-over-year — "well ahead of our expectation for $87.1 million on better overall productivity, new products and the full on-boarding of and contribution from Litton."

Altisource ($54.69 ()) earned $25.7 million in the fourth quarter, a 53% increase from $16.8 million a year earlier on improved operating margins.