ALTISOURCE PORTFOLIO SOLTNS ASPS W
October 13, 2009 - 10:19pm EST by
olivia08
2009 2010
Price: 14.78 EPS $1.15 $1.61
Shares Out. (in M): 26 P/E 12.9x 9.2x
Market Cap (in $M): 384 P/FCF 12.0x 8.7x
Net Debt (in $M): -12 EBIT 40 55
TEV ($): 372 TEV/EBIT 9.3x 6.8x

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Description

I am proposing a long position a low-profile spin off with a disguised single digit earnings multiple and significant future growth potential.

Altisource Portfolio Solutions provides outsourced services for mortgage loans and credit card receivables. The stock price of $14.78 represents a pro forma run-rate earnings multiple of 8.9 after considering $0.50 of cash per share. LPS is the relevant comp and it sells for 13.3 times "adjusted" earnings guidance of $3. At a multiple of 13.3 plus net cash Altisource would trade for about $22. Additionally, there are a number of catalysts which may increase their earnings by more than 60% over the next few years; if so, the business value would increase to the mid-$30 range.

Altisource was a subsidiary of mortgage servicing firm Ocwen Financial prior to their recent spin off. Ocwen is regarded as the lowest cost mortgage servicer and Altisource provides the technology and services behind that cost advantage. As a spin off, the goal of the company for 2009 is to increase the breadth of services offered and round out their geographical footprint. In 2010, Altisource will target signing new customers in both the US and overseas. The services they provide include: mortgage servicing software and technology, residential property valuation, title and closing, business process outsourcing, property inspect and preservation and default management. Many of these services have a large default and foreclosure element. The credit card services they provide are for defaulted receivable collection. This segment's profitability is inversely correlated with the economy; in tough times, there is more work to do but collection rates decline.

Altisource reported net income of $7M in the second quarter, which is an EPS run-rate of $1.15. On a pro forma basis they earned $10.5M.

Pretax earnings ($1,000's)                        10,009
+ Financial Services segment loss                1,736
+ Interest expense                                       796
+ Spin off expense                                    1,850
= Q2 adjusted pretax earnings                  14,391
Q2 adj. pretax earnings, annualized           57,564
- Public company expenses                       (2,500)
= Pro forma pretax earnings                      55,064
- Taxes at 24%                                       (13,215)
= Pro forma earnings                                41,849
Pro forma earnings per share                      $1.61

Stock price                                               $14.78
P/E ratio, net cash                                        8.9x
Target price: 13.3 P/E ratio plus cash          $21.91
Upside                                                      +48%

As you read through the various SEC documents (10-Q, Form 10, 8-Ks) and speak with the company it becomes very clear that revenue and profits in the Mortgage Services segment will increase in the near future. It is also clear that the losses incurred in the Financial Services segment will be eliminated through cost reductions (most recently the closure of two offices in July). The spin off expenses are nonrecurring, although there will be some expenses incurred in the third quarter. As a separate company overhead will cost an additional $2-4M, most likely at the low-end of the range. The tax rate will be in the low to mid 20% range because of the Luxembourg headquarters (24% may be conservative). I use 26M diluted shares (24M basic plus dilution from 2M of the 3M options). Cash flow should exceed earnings because the business is not capital intensive and because of $2M of annual amortization of acquired intangibles. Thus, I believe the pro forma earnings run-rate outlined above is a good number to use for valuation and 2010 earnings will exceed this figure.

What else?
Ocwen spends about $400M per year in their loan servicing operation and Altisource is targeting taking a high $200M share of that amount. Year to date they are generating slightly less than $100M from Ocwen. This demonstrates some of the business logic to the spin; due to real and perceived conflicts of interest in the servicer/investor relationship it was not possible for Ocwen to in-source as many of these services as Altisource will be able to provide as a third party. If the company is successful in generating revenue of $275M from Ocwen, revenue will increase by $175M and earnings by >$1 per share (20% pretax margin, 24% tax rate). A less certain source of upside will come in 2010 when Altisource begins to market their services more aggressively in the US and Europe. Many of these services, particularly for mortgage servicing, are sticky businesses so I assume no success, but acknowledge the possibility of some upside.

Ocwen issued $275M in stock to use for servicing portfolio acquisitions, which would lead to an expansion of the $400M they spend on vendor services. "We are currently negotiating the purchase of at least one substantial servicing platform" - Bill Erbey on the second quarter conference call. It is unclear how this will play out, but Ocwen has $440M of cash to make acquisitions that will be beneficial to Altisource.

What's the catch?
Revenue is concentrated between Ocwen (50%) and American Express (25%) with the balance spread among the large credit card issuers, investment banks and insurers. However, Ocwen is locked in with an 8 year contract, there is plenty of market share to take within Ocwen's annual spend and Ocwen is positioned to grow aggressively via M&A. American Express has been a customer for 30 years.

The other issue is that this business is benefiting from cyclically high default and foreclosure activity. It's difficult to determine exactly how much revenue is counter-cyclical, but it may be 50% of mortgage services segment revenue. Much of the recent growth is an expansion of services offered to Ocwen and not just higher default rates.
Offsetting any potential cyclical decline may be: 1) improved origination-related activity, 2) growth in the number of services offered, and 3) currently depressed receivables collections income. In the near-term this exposure may be positive; LPS is forecasting growing default related services in both 2009 and 2010.

Incentives.
It's not huge money, but the CEO and CFO stock option packages are exceedingly fair for shareholders. The 113K shares have a $14.15 strike with 25% vesting over 4 years, 50% vesting if the stock doubles and compounds at 20% annually and 25% vesting if the stock triples and compounds at 25%.

I have left much of the general business information for the reader to learn through the 10-Qs, Form 10 and 8-Ks available here (http://www.sec.gov/cgi-bin/browse-edgar?action=getcompany&CIK=0001462418&owner=exclude&count=40) and the website available here (http://ir.altisource.com/index.cfm). The main reason is that I feel these are well written documents and my value-add is nil.

In summary, a P/E multiple of 8.9 is a bargain for a strong cash generator that may increase its earnings power by 60% or more in the next few years.

Catalyst

Catalysts:
-Servicing portfolio acquisition(s) by Ocwen
-Investor presentations
-Earnings announcements revealing the growing EPS run-rate
-New business wins in 2010 and on
-Time

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    Description

    I am proposing a long position a low-profile spin off with a disguised single digit earnings multiple and significant future growth potential.

    Altisource Portfolio Solutions provides outsourced services for mortgage loans and credit card receivables. The stock price of $14.78 represents a pro forma run-rate earnings multiple of 8.9 after considering $0.50 of cash per share. LPS is the relevant comp and it sells for 13.3 times "adjusted" earnings guidance of $3. At a multiple of 13.3 plus net cash Altisource would trade for about $22. Additionally, there are a number of catalysts which may increase their earnings by more than 60% over the next few years; if so, the business value would increase to the mid-$30 range.

    Altisource was a subsidiary of mortgage servicing firm Ocwen Financial prior to their recent spin off. Ocwen is regarded as the lowest cost mortgage servicer and Altisource provides the technology and services behind that cost advantage. As a spin off, the goal of the company for 2009 is to increase the breadth of services offered and round out their geographical footprint. In 2010, Altisource will target signing new customers in both the US and overseas. The services they provide include: mortgage servicing software and technology, residential property valuation, title and closing, business process outsourcing, property inspect and preservation and default management. Many of these services have a large default and foreclosure element. The credit card services they provide are for defaulted receivable collection. This segment's profitability is inversely correlated with the economy; in tough times, there is more work to do but collection rates decline.

    Altisource reported net income of $7M in the second quarter, which is an EPS run-rate of $1.15. On a pro forma basis they earned $10.5M.

    Pretax earnings ($1,000's)                        10,009
    + Financial Services segment loss                1,736
    + Interest expense                                       796
    + Spin off expense                                    1,850
    = Q2 adjusted pretax earnings                  14,391
    Q2 adj. pretax earnings, annualized           57,564
    - Public company expenses                       (2,500)
    = Pro forma pretax earnings                      55,064
    - Taxes at 24%                                       (13,215)
    = Pro forma earnings                                41,849
    Pro forma earnings per share                      $1.61

    Stock price                                               $14.78
    P/E ratio, net cash                                        8.9x
    Target price: 13.3 P/E ratio plus cash          $21.91
    Upside                                                      +48%

    As you read through the various SEC documents (10-Q, Form 10, 8-Ks) and speak with the company it becomes very clear that revenue and profits in the Mortgage Services segment will increase in the near future. It is also clear that the losses incurred in the Financial Services segment will be eliminated through cost reductions (most recently the closure of two offices in July). The spin off expenses are nonrecurring, although there will be some expenses incurred in the third quarter. As a separate company overhead will cost an additional $2-4M, most likely at the low-end of the range. The tax rate will be in the low to mid 20% range because of the Luxembourg headquarters (24% may be conservative). I use 26M diluted shares (24M basic plus dilution from 2M of the 3M options). Cash flow should exceed earnings because the business is not capital intensive and because of $2M of annual amortization of acquired intangibles. Thus, I believe the pro forma earnings run-rate outlined above is a good number to use for valuation and 2010 earnings will exceed this figure.

    What else?
    Ocwen spends about $400M per year in their loan servicing operation and Altisource is targeting taking a high $200M share of that amount. Year to date they are generating slightly less than $100M from Ocwen. This demonstrates some of the business logic to the spin; due to real and perceived conflicts of interest in the servicer/investor relationship it was not possible for Ocwen to in-source as many of these services as Altisource will be able to provide as a third party. If the company is successful in generating revenue of $275M from Ocwen, revenue will increase by $175M and earnings by >$1 per share (20% pretax margin, 24% tax rate). A less certain source of upside will come in 2010 when Altisource begins to market their services more aggressively in the US and Europe. Many of these services, particularly for mortgage servicing, are sticky businesses so I assume no success, but acknowledge the possibility of some upside.

    Ocwen issued $275M in stock to use for servicing portfolio acquisitions, which would lead to an expansion of the $400M they spend on vendor services. "We are currently negotiating the purchase of at least one substantial servicing platform" - Bill Erbey on the second quarter conference call. It is unclear how this will play out, but Ocwen has $440M of cash to make acquisitions that will be beneficial to Altisource.

    What's the catch?
    Revenue is concentrated between Ocwen (50%) and American Express (25%) with the balance spread among the large credit card issuers, investment banks and insurers. However, Ocwen is locked in with an 8 year contract, there is plenty of market share to take within Ocwen's annual spend and Ocwen is positioned to grow aggressively via M&A. American Express has been a customer for 30 years.

    The other issue is that this business is benefiting from cyclically high default and foreclosure activity. It's difficult to determine exactly how much revenue is counter-cyclical, but it may be 50% of mortgage services segment revenue. Much of the recent growth is an expansion of services offered to Ocwen and not just higher default rates.
    Offsetting any potential cyclical decline may be: 1) improved origination-related activity, 2) growth in the number of services offered, and 3) currently depressed receivables collections income. In the near-term this exposure may be positive; LPS is forecasting growing default related services in both 2009 and 2010.

    Incentives.
    It's not huge money, but the CEO and CFO stock option packages are exceedingly fair for shareholders. The 113K shares have a $14.15 strike with 25% vesting over 4 years, 50% vesting if the stock doubles and compounds at 20% annually and 25% vesting if the stock triples and compounds at 25%.

    I have left much of the general business information for the reader to learn through the 10-Qs, Form 10 and 8-Ks available here (http://www.sec.gov/cgi-bin/browse-edgar?action=getcompany&CIK=0001462418&owner=exclude&count=40) and the website available here (http://ir.altisource.com/index.cfm). The main reason is that I feel these are well written documents and my value-add is nil.

    In summary, a P/E multiple of 8.9 is a bargain for a strong cash generator that may increase its earnings power by 60% or more in the next few years.

    Catalyst

    Catalysts:
    -Servicing portfolio acquisition(s) by Ocwen
    -Investor presentations
    -Earnings announcements revealing the growing EPS run-rate
    -New business wins in 2010 and on
    -Time

    Messages


    Subjectannualized earnings?
    Entry10/16/2009 06:56 AM
    Memberspence774

    Thanks for the idea - is there any cyclicality to the earnings that you are annualizing?


    SubjectManagement
    Entry10/19/2009 07:31 PM
    Memberroc924

    Hi Olivia,

    What do you think of management?

    Thanks for the report,

    roc


    SubjectRevenue
    Entry10/19/2009 10:55 PM
    Memberroc924

    Hi,

    In message 5 you wrote that the company says in the filings that revenue will grow sequentially in 3Q and 4Q. Where is that? I can't find it in the 10Qs (still reading the 10).

    I see this, which you also cited, but it only accounts for $8m of $50m in 2Q revenue:

    "We anticipate that we will continue to grow our revenues from these new products in each successive quarter of 2009."

    Does that definitely mean q/q growth and not y/y growth for consecutive qtrs?

    Putting other quotes together from the 10Q (new contract...$5m...collection rates leveling off...$13m)  I can see how management is indicating $29m of the $50 will be flat to up from 2Q...but it is not explicit.

    Thanks,

    roc

     

    Olivia,

     


    SubjectRE: RE: Management
    Entry10/26/2009 03:40 PM
    Memberroc924

    Hi Olivia,

    Do you know why Shepro was chosen as CEO?

    Do you know if Shepro and Stiles were stars at OCN? I know Stiles was the CFO of the Altisource biz before the separation. I wonder if either one of these guys had other choices. Just trying to get more color. I've called the company but haven't heard back yet, perhaps because they will probably report 3Q soon.

    Do you know what management's pre tax net income target is for bonuses?

    Why did Altisource change accountants? The timing seems odd.

    Thanks,

    roc


    SubjectRE: RE: RE: RE: Management
    Entry10/27/2009 08:49 AM
    Memberroc924

    No opinion yet on the auditor change. The accounting looks conservative to me.

    I calculate a DSO of 21. How did you get 85?


    Subjectstock
    Entry11/03/2009 11:32 AM
    Memberroc924

    Olivia,

    Any reason the stock has been weak lately?

    Did you hear from management on the reason behind the change in accountants?

    Thanks,

    roc


    SubjectRE: RE: stock
    Entry11/04/2009 02:46 PM
    Memberroc924

    The company said that it changed auditors to save money. There was no techinical issue.


    SubjectRE: RE: RE: RE: RE: questions
    Entry12/28/2009 10:12 AM
    Memberchuck307

    Finn,

    the homes that are owned by subprime borrowers today are going to be owned by someone in the future.  Perhaps prices will drop by so much, that prime/conforming buyers will be the new owners, though I'm dubious.  FHA's growth seems reinforces my skepticism (as do governments' efforts to stem natural home price declines).  FHA is going to be an unbelievably enormous opportunity for folks like OSPS over time as FHA is not capable of handling defaults in volume. 

    I'm sure you are aware, but FHA's marketshare has increased (by number of mortgages) from 3.8% and 4.1% in 2006 and 2007, respectively, to 19% YTD through September (21% in the month of September). 

    FHA's entire reason for being is to provide subprime borrowers with mortgage insurance in order to get them into conforming mortgages.  While I doubt that the level of defaults will meet that of the most choice vintages of subprime, it's going to be very high.  This choice tidbit from the FHA's homepage gives some nice color:

    "Why does FHA Mortgage Insurance exist?

    Unlike conventional loans that adhere to strict underwriting guidelines, FHA-insured loans require very little cash investment to close a loan. There is more flexibility in calculating household income and payment ratios. The cost of the mortgage insurance is passed along to the homeowner and typically is included in the monthly payment. In most cases, the insurance cost to the homeowner will drop off after five years or when the remaining balance on the loan is 78 percent of the value of the property -whichever is longer."

    In addition to the current default wave which will persist for quite some time, the FHA is providing us with an ample future at ASPS. 

    -Chuck


    SubjectAcquisition
    Entry02/15/2010 02:37 PM
    Memberroc924

    Olivia,

    What do you think of the MPA acquisition? Do you know what valuation ASPS paid?

    Thanks,

    roc


    SubjectGeneral update
    Entry02/26/2010 11:26 AM
    Memberchuck307

    Olivia,

    Great call.  You nailed the cyclical growth story and it's continuing to play out.  Do you have any view on the valuation today, in general.?  You've surpassed you initial 48% upside target and then some.

    -Chuck


    SubjectRE: RE: RE: LPS
    Entry10/06/2010 04:14 PM
    Memberconway968
    I agree that ASPS is not fee splitting, but are you not concerned that they could have tail downside risk in the near term as their practices receive more scrutiny?
     
    In particular, one could complain about their relationship with Ocwen.  My understanding is that lawyers are "highly encouraged" to retain ASPS if they want to get foreclosure volumes from Ocwen, which is why ASPS services such a large part of the Ocwen footprint.  One could argue that forcing your lawyers to retain an affiliated entity for back office work is inappropriate.  Particularly if problems in ASPS's work surface, the fact that they were not chosen at arms length could draw scrutiny.

    SubjectHedgeye NSM Short Piece
    Entry01/13/2014 12:29 PM
    Memberyellowhouse
    Does anyone know where a copy of the Hedgeye short thesis on Nationstar can be found? 
     
    Since NSM hasn't been written up, this seemed the most logical place to ask.

    SubjectAnyone up to date on this name?
    Entry07/14/2014 08:49 PM
    MemberWeighingMachine
     

    SubjectPer page 9
    Entry12/22/2014 01:26 PM
    MemberWeighingMachine

    Of the most recent 10-K, asps has a contract w Ocwen through 2025 (though subject to termination under certain unspecified provisions)....


    SubjectLooks like this could be worth +150-200% vs. current price
    Entry01/16/2015 11:37 AM
    MemberWeighingMachine

    if they achieve their targets/conduct buybacks.  Been an ugly, ugly journey over the past year or so.  

     

    http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/ABEA-32801L/3848356114x0x803693/D05A364F-4A3F-4273-8D74-42ACA5C35721/Investor_Presentation_January_2015.pdf


    SubjectOlivia
    Entry04/16/2015 03:49 PM
    Memberroc924

    Hi Olivia and others, any thoughts on Erbey and his companies, including ASPS? Thanks, roc

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