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What: Shares of mortgage service providers came under heavy pressure following an earnings miss from Walter Investment Management (NYSE:WAC), which tumbled as much as 24%. Peer Nationstar Mortgage Holdings (NYSE:NSM) couldn't escape the pressure and dipped as much as 10% as well.
So what: For the quarter, Walter Investment reported a 13% increase in year-over-year revenue to $176.4 million and a profit of $0.64. Unfortunately for shareholders, Wall Street had been expecting $0.67 in EPS. However, management didn't seem deterred by its small miss, guiding 2013 EBITDA to $650 million to $725 million, which is well ahead of current estimates. Management cited recent acquisition of $93 billion in unpaid principal balance residential servicing assets from Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) that are backed by Fannie Mae as all the more reason to be excited about the company's long-term growth.
Now what: I had, admittedly, thought Walter Investment had gotten ahead of itself in terms of valuation prior to this quarterly report, but the downside reaction to a very small miss and what I'd deem solid guidance seems a bit much. The same goes for Nationstar, which is currently down 5% in sympathy with Walter Investment. Both companies will need to continue to deliver for shareholders, but, if Walter Investment's EBITDA guidance is any indication, the mortgage servicing sector is doing just fine.
Fool contributor Sean Williams owns shares of Bank of America, but has no material interest in any other companies mentioned in this article. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.
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