CoreLogic attributes its 4Q growth from shift to an AMC

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CoreLogic's fourth-quarter earnings reflect the success of the transformation to an appraisal management company business model accelerated in the prior-year period.

The company earned $30.1 million, up from $23.2 million in the third quarter and $12.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Its year-ago results included a $412 million loss related to discontinued businesses, including the Dorado loan origination system unit.

This quarter, the loss from discontinued businesses totaled just $14 million.

CoreLogic reported revenue of $426 million for the fourth quarter, up 6% year-over-year. However, the AMC transformation and related exit of noncore mortgage and default technology units reduced the quarter's revenue by $24 million. Without those items, revenue increased approximately 12%.

"Organic growth trends accelerated during the quarter boosted by market share and pricing gains," President and CEO Frank Martell said during the conference call. "One example of accelerated momentum on the organic growth front relates to our new collateral valuation services model.

"Our new service model has attracted significant market interest and we've recently secured major new contracts with two of the top 10 U.S. mortgage originators. These wins together with a host of other new contracts for our reimagined service model are expected to generate strong double-digit underlying AMC revenue growth with higher margins in 2020."

The reporting segment where the AMC is housed, Underwriting & Workflow Solutions, reported revenue of $259 million in the fourth quarter, up 8% from 2018 levels led by the benefits of higher U.S. mortgage origination volumes and organic growth.

UWS made $77.4 million in net income from continuing operations, up from $43.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2018.

CoreLogic's other operating segment, Property Intelligence & Risk Management Solutions, had a 2% year-over-year increase in revenue to $171 million, as growth in insurance and real estate solutions more than offset the impacts of lower tenant screening volumes, currency translation and reduced housing market activity in Australia.

PIRM's net earnings from continuing operations was $10.9 million, down from $25.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2018. The corporate segment lost $58.2 million from continuing operations, compared with a loss of $55.7 million the prior-year period.

The business transformation left CoreLogic in a strong positon to deal with the market in 2020, Martell said.

"Over the past several years we have built and/or expanded our platform offerings, focused on marketing services, home purchase, insurances spatial and international," he said. "We're also making strong progress building next-generation capabilities with a particular focus on data quality, structures and visualization as well as technology platforms and advanced automation techniques.

"These capabilities should allow us to build operating leverage, tap into new growth opportunities across multiple verticals and set a foundation for additional margin expansion beyond 30%. We are successfully shifting greater percentage of our revenue mix towards high-margin platforms, integrated solutions and expansion of our non-mortgage adjacencies."

Martell set a 30% 2020 margin target when the transformation plans were announced in December 2018.

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