The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Ocwen Financial, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Group and JPMorgan Chase

CHICAGO, Oct. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Ocwen Financial Corp. (NYSE:OCN), Citigroup Inc. (NYSE:C), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM).


Get the most recent insight from Zacks Equity Research with the free Profit from the Pros newsletter:

Here are highlights from Thursday's Analyst Blog:

Ocwen to Enter Mortgage Lending Biz

In a bid to expand its operations, Ocwen Financial Corp. (NYSE:OCN) is preparing to foray into mortgage origination business. The company has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Homeward Residential Holdings Inc. – an integrated mortgage firm with prime lending and mortgage servicing operations – from WL Ross & Co. LLC. The company will be paying about $588 million in cash and $162 million in Ocwen convertible preferred stock.

Homeward was formed by WL Ross in 2007 by combining the lending platforms of Option One Mortgage Co., American Home Mortgage Servicing and Citi Residential Lending – a unit of

Citigroup Inc.



). It currently services approximately 422,000 mortgage loans with the total unpaid principal balance of more than $77 billion.

Moreover, Homeward's mortgage originating operations comprise of correspondent and retail lending. As of September 30, 2012, Homeward had been issuing roughly $10 billion of loans on an annual basis.

Ocwen stated that the deal, still subject to customary regulatory approvals, is expected to close by the end of this year. Also, the company will not have to raise any additional capital to wrap up the acquisition and it would be immediately accretive to earnings (after taking into consideration transaction related costs).

At a time when major mortgage servicers are shying away from mortgage servicing business as a result of stringent regulations related to capitalization and balance sheet risk, Ocwen has been filling up this void by a string of acquisitions. Homeward is the latest deal for the company subsequent to the acquisitions of Saxon Mortgage Services Inc. – mortgage subsidiary of Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) and Litton Loan Servicing from The Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS), over the last one year.

Apart from these, Ocwen bought certain mortgage-servicing rights (MSRs) related to non-prime loans from JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. – the banking division of

JPMorgan Chase & Co.



), among others.

The acquisition of Homeward is expected to be a positive catalyst for Ocwen. The company will be able to further boost its mortgage serving operations and enter the lending market. This would, thus, provide a sustainable source of organic growth going forward.

Ocwen currently retains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term Hold rating. Considering the fundamentals, we also maintain a long-term 'Neutral' recommendation on the stock.

Want more from Zacks Equity Research? Subscribe to the free Profit from the Pros newsletter:

About Zacks Equity Research

Zacks Equity Research provides the best of quantitative and qualitative analysis to help investors know what stocks to buy and which to sell for the long-term.

Continuous coverage is provided for a universe of 1,150 publicly traded stocks. Our analysts are organized by industry which gives them keen insights to developments that affect company profits and stock performance. Recommendations and target prices are six-month time horizons.

Zacks "Profit from the Pros" e-mail newsletter provides highlights of the latest analysis from Zacks Equity Research. Subscribe to this free newsletter today:

About Zacks is a property of Zacks Investment Research, Inc., which was formed in 1978 by Leon Zacks. As a PhD from MIT Len knew he could find patterns in stock market data that would lead to superior investment results. Amongst his many accomplishments was the formation of his proprietary stock picking system; the Zacks Rank, which continues to outperform the market by nearly a 3 to 1 margin. The best way to unlock the profitable stock recommendations and market insights of Zacks Investment Research is through our free daily email newsletter; Profit from the Pros. In short, it's your steady flow of Profitable ideas GUARANTEED to be worth your time! Register for your free subscription to Profit from the Pros at

Visit for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

Follow us on Twitter:

Join us on Facebook:

Disclaimer: Past performance does not guarantee future results. Investors should always research companies and securities before making any investments. Nothing herein should be construed as an offer or solicitation to buy or sell any security.

Media Contact

Zacks Investment Research

800-767-3771 ext. 9339

SOURCE Zacks Investment Research, Inc.