Mortgage.com filed plans last week for a $112 million initial public offering, just a day after on-line lender E-Loan Inc. said it will postpone going public.
Internet stocks have fallen back to Earth in recent weeks, as some investors pulled back from the sector. But Seth Werner, chief executive of Mortgage.com, Plantation, Fla., said he thinks the market is still good for public offerings from Internet-based companies.
"Internet stocks that don't jump off the page during their IPOs are those without real businesses or real history," he said.
Mortgage.com made $2 billion of loans in 1998, including about one-fifth that total through the Internet. The company closed $751.6 million of loans in the first three months of this year, 41% of which were originated through the Internet.
Business has "ramped up considerably," Mr. Werner said, in part because of a six-and-a-half-year contract with Intuit Inc., which took effect in November.
In addition, Mortgage.com supplies Internet technology to mortgage banks, including Advanta Corp., Southtrust Mortgage Corp., and Superior Bank, and it makes Fannie Mae's Desktop Underwriter available to brokers and bankers through a separate Web site.
The company has been planning its IPO for five months, Mr. Werner said. "If we go to price and we're not satisfied with the terms, we'll table it for a few months," he said.
Meanwhile, Goldman, Sachs & Co., the lead underwriter of E-Loan's initial public offering, said Thursday that it would postpone the deal. E- Loan of Dublin, Calif., had planned to price 3.5 million shares at $11 to $13 a share. Its officials did not return calls.
The biggest issue that on-line lenders must address is effective customer service, said Jeffrey Lebowitz, principal of SSP-RES Research.
Mortgage.com has "tackled the issue pretty well," he said, which "explains the company's growth."
But Mr. Lebowitz said he is "amazed" by the amount of money Mortgage.com is losing. The company said in its Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it "incurred substantial net losses in every fiscal period" since it began operations.
The company suffered $6.4 million of net losses last year and $3.1 million of losses in the first quarter.
Credit Suisse First Boston is lead underwriter on the Mortgage.com deal, with Deutsche Banc Alex. Brown and U.S. Bancorp Piper Jaffray participating.