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IPOs Focused on Financials

NEW YORK (TheStreet -- The IPO market is certainly tilted towards online offerings, but some offerings from financials are on the way.

While Yelp (YELP), which compiles online reviews for local businesses, came out of the starting gate strong with a 63.9% return from pricing, the Cayman Island's Home Loan Servicing (HLSS) dropped 1.7%. Three financial sector companies are hoping to launch this week, bringing a focus on real estate and the mortgage market. Last week, Provident Mortgage opted to postpone its deal, highlighting the uncertainty facing financial initial public offerings.





National Mortgage Holdings (NSM) is the largest as it tries to raise $300 million which it can use to make acquisitions. National Mortgage is a residential mortgage servicer that earns fees for taking mortgage payments from borrowers and sending them to the mortgage owners. It is the largest non-bank servicer in the U.S. but it faces competition from banks with much lower costs. It has to follow the guidelines of the government-sponsored enterprises like Fannie Mae (FNMA), and unfortunately, it doesn't get all the government subsidies the GSEs receive.

National Mortgage also has increased costs as a result of no exemptions since it isn't a depository institution and it could also be adversely affected by implementation of Dodd-Frank.

That other companies can provide these services with a lower cost structure is what troubles IPO Desktop President Francis Gaskins. He is concerned that investors could get into this IPO thinking that National Mortgage is making millions for holding mortgages. The company did generate a profit of $21 million in 2011, a swing from a year-earlier loss of $10 million, but that was from selling mortgages, not the fee-based business. If National Mortgage has trouble selling mortgages that will affect its profitability.

While National Mortgage is dealing with foreclosures and mortgages, Select Income REIT (SIR) is enjoying sunny Hawaii. This REIT gets 68% of its income from Hawaiian property rentals, which reset periodically, and the rents, on average, increase 30%.

SIR is a spinoff from Commonwealth REIT (CWH) and the proceeds from the $176 million offering will go to paying back the parent. Commonwealth REIT will still retain 73% of the company. Gaskins said if an investor is looking for income, then SIR would be a good fit; if the investor is looking for gains in the stock, then he should look elsewhere. SIR is expected to make a 7.3% payout and the payments look secure. Gaskins pointed out, however, that the parent Commonwealth has a 9.6% payout.

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