Walter Investment Management Corp. narrowed its fourth-quarter losses, as disappointed CEO Anthony Renzi called the nonbank lender and servicer's third consecutive annual loss "not acceptable" and vowed to improve results.
The company recorded a net loss of $22.2 million, inclusive of $8.2 million in goodwill impairment, and a non-cash benefit of $97 million for the fourth quarter of 2016. This was an improvement over the fourth quarter of 2015's net loss of $117.1 million.
"Since joining Walter in September, my focus has been on putting together a plan to reduce our cost structure and improve efficiency, with a strong emphasis on performance management and controls," Renzi said in the company's earnings release. "[W]e are ready to face the challenges ahead, confident that the changes underway will put Walter in the best position to succeed but it will take time to implement and realize the benefits of these changes."
A reduction in servicing revenue and higher expenses offset by lower salaries and benefits costs were among drivers of the fourth-quarter results.
Walter also took a net loss of $529.2 million for full-year 2016, including goodwill and intangible assets impairment charges of $202.3 million, and non-cash charges of $140.7 million. The company's net loss was $263.2 million in 2015 and $110.3 million in 2014.
High servicing expenses contributed to the goodwill impairment. Reduced profitability expectations in the reverse mortgage segment drove the intangible assets impairment charges.
The company has been restructuring its leadership and implementing cost-cutting measures. It has been highly leveraged relative to its peers and exploring ways to reduce that leverage.
The company has seen some improvement in its origination business' margins.
A slight shift toward consumer-direct originations in the company's Ditech unit has improved combined direct margins by 36 basis points compared to the same quarter in 2016. Declines in the lower-margin correspondent channel reduced funded originations by $300 million to $5.3 billion.