Countrywide Credit Industries appears to be on a roll. Its mortgage originations in July climbed to $2.92 billion, a gain of $1 billion, or 34%, over the level in July 1994.
Meanwhile the company's pipeline of approved loans waiting to be closed reached $5.1 billion, which suggests originations of $3 billion or more in the next couple of months.
"This environment is ideal for them," said Thomas O'Donnell, a securities analyst with PaineWebber Inc., New York. "It's a very opportunistic company. I expect it to continue to build volume. Even if the portfolio lenders try to be mortgage bankers, Countrywide can compete.
"A lot of mortgage banks have gone out of business, and there's more room for Countrywide to grow than they had in 1993."
For its current fiscal year, which began March 1, Countrywide has already originated $12.5 billion in mortgages, an average of $2.5 billion a month. With current production more like $3 billion a month, analysts generally expect the company to top the preceding year's $28 billion in originations by a comfortable margin.
Countrywide, based in Pasadena, Calif., has been significantly increasing its production of government loans. Originations in this category jumped by 96% from July '94 to July '95, and now represent about a third of the company's business, against about a quarter a year ago.
Michael Corasaniti, an analyst in New York with Alex. Brown & Sons, Baltimore, continues to rate Countrywide a buy. "We believe the backdrop of lower interest rates bodes well for the company," he wrote in a recent report. "We are encouraged by the Federal Reserve's move of lowering the Fed fund rate by 25 basis points."
He added that his growth projections for Countrywide do not assume any further declines in rates.
SHAWNEE, Kan. - Advanced Financial Inc. reported that its backlog of mortgage applications being processed reached $26 million at the end of July, a 294% increase over $6.6 million on Jan. 1, 1995.
The pipeline of approved mortgage applications with a guaranteed interest rate stood at $6.4 million, a 128% increase. The locked pipeline is an indicator of expected near-term mortgage loan closings during the remainder of the interest rate guarantee period, usually 30 to 45 days.
However, the backlog and pipeline actually slipped slightly during July. Brad Morris, president of Advanced Financial's AFI Mortgage Corp. subsidiary, said: "We are still pleased with the results and believe that August originations will continue to show increased trends in mortgage application volume from our Desktop Loan Origination terminal network."