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Why PHH Corporation Plunged Today

By Jordan Wathen - Feb 25, 2016 at 3:59PM

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Here's why shares of the mortgage servicer dropped today.

What: Shares of PHH Corporation (NYSE: PHH) are plunging, dropping more than 26% as of 3:15 p.m. EST after the company reported a fourth-quarter loss.

So what: PHH Corporation reported a net loss of $54 million in the fourth quarter, or $0.92 per share. The consensus analyst estimate was for a loss of $0.30 per share during the fourth quarter.

So-called "core earnings" came in at a negative $0.38 per share for the fourth quarter. Core earnings exclude mark-to-market adjustments to the carrying value of its mortgage servicing rights, and related derivatives.

Mortgage servicing remains a major challenge for PHH. The company lost $65 million in the segment this quarter, compared to a loss of $77 million in the third quarter, and $13 million in the fourth quarter of 2014. The company's mortgage servicing rights were impaired by $52 million this quarter compared to $22 million in the third quarter.

Now what: Company executives highlighted a number of major challenges for the company, and its industry as a whole. Execs pointed toward double-digit increases in compliance, process management, and technology costs. In addition, the company cited capital markets volatility as a reason for suspending its share-repurchase program, noting that it needed to maintain a "prudent liquidity cushion" during uncertain times.

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