What happened

The stock market was rebounding strongly on Thursday, a welcome change following one of the worst declines since the COVID-19 pandemic started. But commercial real estate finance company Walker & Dunlop (NYSE:WD) was having an especially great day. As of 2:50 p.m. EDT, the real estate financial stock was up by 11.5%, handily outpacing the overall market.

So what

Walker & Dunlop reported its third-quarter earnings on Thursday morning. To put it mildly, investors were pleased with the results.

High-rise apartment buildings.

Image source: Getty Images.

On the headline numbers, the company reported $247 million in revenue, which was 16% higher than a year ago. Earnings came in at $1.66 per share, which represents 19% year-over-year growth.

Impressively, this growth came at a time when overall transaction volume actually declined by 6% from the same quarter in 2019. Growth was fueled by the mortgage-servicing portfolio, which now is $103.4 billion in size (13% larger than a year ago), as well as by much higher agency-backed loan-origination volumes, which come with higher origination fees and helped loan-origination and debt-brokerage fee income grow by 29%.

Now what

A notable accomplishment is that Walker & Dunlop was able to accomplish its year-end 2020 goals (which it set in 2015) ahead of schedule, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The company has more than doubled the size of its mortgage-servicing portfolio over those five years, grown annual origination volume from $16 billion to more than $30 billion, and nearly doubled annual revenue. And if the company keeps doing what it's doing, it could produce similar results over the next five years, as well.

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