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Mortgage

Why Jay Farner is “puzzled” by Rocket’s disappointing stock price

Despite record origination and $6.55B in profits YTD, Wall Street hasn't embraced the lender. We look at why

Jay-Farner-Quicken-Loans-HW

You can understand Jay Farner’s frustration: Rocket Companies just had the most productive quarter in the history of residential mortgage lending. It thumped competitors with a record $89 billion in originations in the third quarter, and made $3 billion in profits. In fact, through the first three quarters of the year, Rocket has made a stunning $6.55 billion in profits.

The highlights from the third quarter alone were impressive by any standard: Rocket claimed big gains in Millennial adoption of its tech platform. It also inked several partnerships that could boost its purchase business, something analysts and investors have said they want to see in order to justify long-term forecasts. And though gain-on-sale margins fell from 5.19% to 4.52%, they were still well above expectations.

Rocket announced that it would be buying up to $1 billion in common stock over the next two years, which should raise the price. Add that to a low-rate environment that is expected to continue well in 2021, and the forecasts should be quite favorable, right?

Despite all that, Rocket’s stock at the close of business Wednesday was trading at a ho-hum $21.60, slightly above the $21.50 price it closed at on its Aug. 6 debut. As of Thursday at 1:45 p.m. EST, it’s been trading around $21.76.

Farner appeared on Jim Cramer’s “Mad Money” show on Wednesday evening, where the two discussed the confounding situation.

“That frankly makes no sense to me,” Cramer said.

Farner replied: “You’ve got me puzzled too on what’s going on with the stock. We’re super excited about what we’re doing over here.”

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