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Goldman Unit May Be Big Win for Ocwen

Excluding the prepayment costs "and a $0.9 million reduction in litigation accruals," Ocwen's first-quarter net income would have been $29.1 million, or 27 cents a share.

CEO Ron Faris said the company achieved "a quarterly record volume of 24,502 modifications, up more than 22% over the fourth quarter of 2010, and a large reduction in non-performing loans."

Ocwen's shares closed at $11.82 Thursday, returning 24% year-to-date. The shares trade for 9 times the consensus 2012 earnings estimate of $1.28 a share, among analysts polled by FactSet.

After the first-quarter earnings announcement in May, KBW analyst Bose George reiterated his "outperform" or "buy" rating for Ocwen's shares with a target price of $13.00, and increased his 2011 earnings estimate to $1.27 a share from $1.19. George estimates Ocwen will earn $1.44 a share in 2012.

After a "a solid quarter from an operating basis," George said the company remained "well positioned." Regarding the potential for further acquisitions, George said that Ocwen was "very under-levered so it should be able to fund meaningful [mortgage servicing rights] acquisitions without raising capital."

PiperJaffray analyst Robert Napoli is even more enthusiastic about Ocwen, with an "overweight" or "buy" rating and a price target of $16, saying in May that the company was "a very strong bidder for [mortgage servicing rights] due to its low-cost operating model and well above average ability to keep loans current and manage advances, and its access to capital."

Napoli said Ocwen was "well positioned to win the Goldman Sachs (Litton Loan) servicing portfolio, which we believe is roughly $45 billion," and added this important tidbit for investors: "Each $10 billion in additional servicing could add about $0.18 to our EPS estimates on a run-rate basis."

Goldman Sachs declined to comment for this article. A Call to Ocwen for comment was not immediately returned.

-- Written by Philip van Doorn in Jupiter, Fla.

To contact the writer, click here: Philip van Doorn.

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Philip W. van Doorn is a member of TheStreet's banking and finance team, commenting on industry and regulatory trends. He previously served as the senior analyst for Ratings, responsible for assigning financial strength ratings to banks and savings and loan institutions. Mr. van Doorn previously served as a loan operations officer at Riverside National Bank in Fort Pierce, Fla., and as a credit analyst at the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York, where he monitored banks in New York, New Jersey and Puerto Rico. Mr. van Doorn has additional experience in the mutual fund and computer software industries. He holds a bachelor of science in business administration from Long Island University.
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