FAQs: Virtual Currency Businesses - dfs.ny.gov

J.P. Morgan Early Look at the Market – Mon 10.16.17 - **PLEASE DO NOT FORWARD THIS DOCUMENT**

J.P. Morgan Early Look at the Market – Mon 10.16.17

SEC DISCLAMIER: PLEASE DO NOT FORWARD THIS DOCUMENT

Morning Levels

Trading Update

Top Headlines for Monday

Catalysts – big events to watch over the coming months

Full catalyst list

  • Wed Oct 18 – Fed speakers: Dudley, Kaplan.
  • Wed Oct 18 – US housing starts for Sept. 8:30amET.
  • Wed Oct 18 – US building permits for Sept. 8:30amET.
  • Wed Oct 18 – US Beige Book. 2pmET.
  • Wed Oct 18 – earnings before the open: ABT, Akzo Nobel, ASML, MTB, MTG, NTRS, Reckitt Benckiser, SVU, USB
  • Wed Oct 18 – earnings after the close: AA, AXP, BDN, BHE, BXS, CCI, CCK, EBAY, GHL, HXL, KALU, LLNW, SLG, SLM, STLD, TCBI, URI.
  • Thurs Oct 19 – China Q3 GDP and Sept retail sales, IP, and FAI (Wed night/Thurs morning)
  • Thurs Oct 19 – US Leading Index for Sept. 10amET.
  • Thurs Oct 19 – earnings before the open: ADS, BBT, BK, BX, DGX, DHR, DOV, GPC, KEY, Nestle, NUE, Pernod Ricard, Philips Lighting, PM, PPG, Publicis, RCI, Roche, SAP, SNA, SON, Thales, TRV, TSMC, TXT, Unilever, VZ, WBC, WGO.
  • Thurs Oct 19 – earnings after the close: ASB, ATHN, ETFC, ISRG, LHO, MXIM, NCR, PBCT, PFPT, PYPL, WDFC, WERN.
  • Fri Oct 20 – BOJ’s Kuroda speaks. 2:30amET.
  • Fri Oct 20 – US existing home sales for Sept. 10amET.
  • Fri Oct 20 – Yellen speaks to National Economists Club in Washington. 7:15pmET.
  • Fri Oct 20 – earnings before the open: Assa Abloy, BHGE, CFG, CLF, Daimler, DST, GE, GNTX, HON, InterContinental Hotels, KSU, MAN, PG, SLB, STI, SYF, TomTom, Volvo.
  • Mon Oct 23 – China Sept property prices (Sun night/Mon morning).
  • Mon Oct 23 – US Chicago Fed Activity Index for Sept. 8:30amET.
  • Mon Oct 23 – earnings before the open: HAL, HAS, ITW, KMB, LII, Philips, STT, STX, VFC
  • Mon Oct 23 – earnings after the close: ARNC, CR, JBT, OI, ZION.
  • Tues Oct 24 – Eurozone flash PMIs for Oct. 4amET.
  • Tues Oct 24 – ECB bank lending survey. 4amET.
  • Tues Oct 24 – US flash PMIs for Oct. 9:45amET.
  • Tues Oct 24 – earnings before the open: AMTD, Anglo American, BASF, BIIB, CAT, CLB, CNC, CVLT, ETR, Fiat Chrysler, FITB, GLW, GM, INFY, IPG, LLY, LMT, MAS, MCD, MMM, Novartis, PCAR, PHM, PNR, R, RF, SAH, SHW, SWK, UTX, WAT, WDR.
  • Tues Oct 24 – earnings after the close: AKAM, AMP, AXS, Canadian National Railway, CMG, COF, CYBE, DFS, ESRX, HLI, IRBT, IRM, MANH, NUVA, RGC, T, TSS, TXN.
  • Wed Oct 25 – US durable goods for Sept. 8:30amET.
  • Wed Oct 25 – US FHFA home price index for Aug. 9amET.
  • Wed Oct 25 – US new home sales for Sept. 10amET.
  • Wed Oct 25 – Bank of Canada rate decision. 10amET.
  • Wed Oct 25 – Brazilian rate decision (after the close).
  • Wed Oct 25 – earnings before the open: ALK, ALLY, ANTM, Antofagasta, AOS, APH, BA, BAX, BTU, Capgemini, Dassault Systemes, DPS, FCX, FLIR, Fresnillo, HBAN, Heineken, IP, IR, KO, LEA, LH, Lloyds Banking Group, NDAQ, NSC, NYCB, OC, Peugeot, SIRI, SLAB, TMO, TUP, V, WBA, WEC, WYN.
  • Wed Oct 25 – earnings after the close: ABX, ACGL, AFL, AMGN, CA, CLGX, DLR, FFIV, FNF, FTI, KIM, LSTR, MC, MLNX, NOW, NXPI, ORLY, PKG, PLXS, RJF, SSNC, TSCO, TYL, UNM, VAR, WCN, XLNX.
  • Thurs Oct 26 – Riksbank decision. 3:30amET.
  • Thurs Oct 26 – ECB rate decision. 7:45amET press release, 8:30amET press conf.
  • Thurs Oct 26 – US wholesale inventories for Sept. 8:30amET.
  • Thurs Oct 26 – US advance goods trade balance for Sept. 8:30amET.
  • Thurs Oct 26 – US pending home sales for Sept. 10amET.
  • Thurs Oct 26 – earnings before the open: ABB, ABX, Aixtron, ALLE, ALV, Anheuser Busch, APD, Bayer, BEN, BMS, BMY, BSX, BWA, CCMP, CELG, CHTR, CMCSA, CME, COP, Deutsche Bank, ENTG, EQT, EXLS, F, GNC, HLT, HSY, LUV, MMC, MKC, NEM, Nokia, OAK, ODFL, PX, Santander, Schneider Electric, SPGI, STM, TWTR, UNP, UPS, VC, VNTV, WM, XEL, XRX.
  • Thurs Oct 26 – earnings after the close: AIV, ATEN, CB, CDNS, CENX, CLS, EXPE, FLEX, FTNT, FTV, GILD, GOOG, HIG, INTC, LPLA, MAT, MSFT, NATI, PFG, PRO, SGEN, SIVB, SYK, VDSI, VRSN.
  • Fri Oct 27 – China Sept industrial profits (Thurs night/Fri morning).
  • Fri Oct 27 – US Q3 GDP, personal consumption, and core PCE for Q3. 8:30amET.
  • Fri Oct 27 – US Michigan Confidence numbers for Oct. 10amET.
  • Fri Oct 27 – earnings before the open: B, MRK, PSX, SC, TRU, Volkswagen, WY, XOM.
  • Mon Oct 30 – US personal income/spending and PCE for Sept. 8:30amET.
  • Mon Oct 30 – US Dallas Fed index for Oct. 10:30amET.
  • Mon Oct 30 – analyst meetings: CSX
  • Mon Oct 30 – earnings before the open: HSBC
  • Mon Oct 30 – earnings after the close: AVB, CGNX, RE, RTEC, VNO
  • Tues Oct 31 – BOJ rate decision (Mon night/Tues morning).
  • Tues Oct 31 – US Employment Cost Index for Q3. 8:30amET.
  • Tues Oct 31 – US Case-Shiller home price index for Aug. 9amET.
  • Tues Oct 31 – US Chicago PMI for Oct. 9:45amET.
  • Tues Oct 31 – US Conference Board Sentiment readings for Oct. 10amET.
  • Tues Oct 31 – earnings before the open: ADM, AET, Airbus, AMT, Barclays, BNP, CMI, ECL, FIS, GGP, K, MA, OSK, PFE, XYL.
  • Tues Oct 31 – earnings after the close: APC, CHRW, CXO, PLT, WFT, X
  • Wed Nov 1 – US ADP jobs report for Oct. 8:15amET.
  • Wed Nov 1 – US Markit Manufacturing PMI for Oct. 9:45amET.
  • Wed Nov 1 – US Manufacturing ISM for Oct. 10amET.
  • Wed Nov 1 – US construction spending report for Sept. 10amET.
  • Wed Nov 1 – US auto sales for Oct.
  • Wed Nov 1 – FOMC meeting decision. 2pmET.
  • Wed Nov 1 – earnings before the open: AGN, APO, CEVA, CLX, EL, GRMN, HFC, LFUS, Novo Nordisk, ORBK, Standard Chartered, TAP, TRI.
  • Wed Nov 1 – earnings after the close: ALL, BHF, BXP, CACI, CAVM, CSGS, EGOV, FB, LNC, MANT, MET, MUSA, OXY, PRU, QCOM, ULTI, XPO.
  • Thurs Nov 2 – BOE rate decision. 8amET.
  • Thurs Nov 2 – US nonfarm productivity and unit labor costs for Q3. 8:30amET.
  • Thurs Nov 2 – earnings before the open: ADP, AN, BCE, CI, Credit Suisse, DISCA, H, ICE, LDOS, Royal Dutch Shell, Sanofi, Swiss Re, WRK.
  • Thurs Nov 2 – earnings after the close: AAPL, AIG, ATVI, CBS, CRUS, FLR, HLF, JCOM, RMAX, SBUX, UNIT.
  • Fri Nov 3 – US jobs report for Oct. 8:30amET.
  • Fri Nov 3 – US trade balance for Sept. 8:30amET.
  • Fri Nov 3 – US factory orders and durable goods orders for Sept. 10amET.
  • Fri Nov 3 – US non-manufacturing ISM for Oct. 10amET.
  • Mon Nov 6 – Fed’s Dudley speaks at The Economist Club of New York.
  • Tues Nov 7 – RBA rate decision. Mon night/Tues morning.
  • Tues Nov 7 – US JOLTs jobs report for Sept. 10amET.
  • Tues Nov 7 – US consumer credit for Sept. 3pmET.
  • Thurs Nov 9 – US wholesale trade sales/inventories for Sept. 10amET.
  • Fri Nov 10 – US Michigan Confidence preliminary numbers for Nov. 10amET.
  • Tues Nov 14 – US PPI for Oct. 8:30amET.
  • Wed Nov 15 – US CPI for Oct. 8:30amET.
  • Wed Nov 15 – US Empire Manufacturing for Nov. 8:30amET.
  • Wed Nov 15 – US retail sales for Oct. 8:30amET.
  • Wed Nov 15 – US business inventories for Sept. 10amET.
  • Thurs Nov 16 – US import prices for Oct. 8:30amET.
  • Thurs Nov 16 – US industrial production for Oct. 9:15amET.
  • Thurs Nov 16 – US NAHB housing index for Nov. 10amET.
  • Fri Nov 17 – US housing starts and building permits for Oct. 8:30amET.
  • Mon Nov 20 – US Leading Index for Oct. 10amET.
  • Tues Nov 21 – US existing home sales for Oct. 10amET.
  • Wed Nov 22 – US durable goods for Oct. 8:30amET.
  • Wed Nov 22 – US final Michigan Confidence numbers for Nov. 10amET.
  • Wed Nov 22 – FOMC 11/1 meeting minutes. 2pmET.
  • Fri Nov 24 – US flash PMIs for Nov. 9:45amET.
J.P. Morgan Market Intelligence is a product of the Institutional Equities Sales and Trading desk of J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and the intellectual property thereof. It is not a product of the Research Department and is intended for distribution to institutional and professional customers only and is not intended for retail customer use. It may not be reproduced, redistributed or transmitted, in whole or in part, without J.P. Morgan’s consent. Any unauthorized use is strictly prohibited.
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CBOE withdraws Bitcoin ETF application as cryptocurrencies are mixed

Crypto Market Recap

Crypto Developments in Financial Services

Crypto Regulatory Environment

General Crypto News

submitted by QuantalyticsResearch to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

We have observed one of the biggest collapses of the US stock market in recent years. The technological index Nasdaq dropped by 4.43% over just one day. Stay in touch with the current events of the week covered in our analytical report.

We have observed one of the biggest collapses of the US stock market in recent years. The technological index Nasdaq dropped by 4.43% over just one day. Stay in touch with the current events of the week covered in our analytical report.
We present to you the report filed by the analysts of our private club for October 22–28.
Main market events for October 22–28, 2018
1) Bakkt will be launched on December 12 if the regulators grant the permission.
2) Internal sources of the CBOE exchange claim that approval of Bitcoin ETF is inevitable. According to the SEC, VanEck, SolidX and CBOE resolved all the issues and it is only a matter of time before the new asset class is approved.
3) The Department of Financial Services (DFS) of New York has permitted Coinbase to develop Custody. The Bank of Japan admits that the bank may lose a lot of influence due to emergence of cryptocurrencies. $500m worth of USDT have been destroyed (burned) by Tether.
4) The Central Election Commission of Russia supported the initiative of the Party of Growth to run elections in Russia on blockchain, which would prevent doctoring of the results.
5) In June 2019, the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF) will start publishing its standards for international regulation of cryptocurrencies.
6) The British audit and consulting company Ernst & Young (EY) conducted a study on the efficiency of 110 ICO projects: only 1 out of 10 tokens managed to bring profit to their owners.
7) Constantinople — the hard fork of Ethereum network — is delayed until the beginning of 2019. The developers made this decision after discovering several bugs when launching the update in the test network.
8) Visa will launch a digital identification system on the B2B Connect blockchain in early 2019. The system would tokenize private information that ensures secure international transactions.
9) The Swiss online bank Swissquote now enables purchasing ICO tokens. You can buy them through an online bank account. Acquired tokens will be stored in a special wallet.
10) HTC has presented the first iteration of the blockchain smartphone Exodus 1 in Berlin. The smartphone is expected to go on sale in 34 countries this December. The device will cost 0.15 BTC or 4.78 ETH.
11) Blockchain platform for distributing video content TaTaTu, which raised $585 million during the ICO, signed an agreement with Johnny Depp. The actor’s film company Infinitum Nihil would produce movies and digital content for TaTaTu.
12) Chairman of the State Duma Committee on the Financial Market Anatoly Aksakov explained that absence of the concepts of “mining” and “bitcoin” in the draft law “On digital financial assets” hints to a “sad” future for cryptocurrencies.
13) The Japan Association of Virtual Currency Exchanges (JVCEA) received the right to self-regulation from the country’s main regulator, the Japan Financial Services Agency (FSA).
14) The Taiwan Financial Supervision Commission will simplify the procedure for launching ICOs in the country and fully legalize them.
15) Tether Limited burned 500 million USDT tokens. The company once again noted that any USDT owner could redeem their tokens with real US dollars that secure the cryptocurrency.
16) The branch of the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission in Shenzhen decreed that the ownership of bitcoins in China should be considered legal.
17) The Ministry of Finance prohibited the British Royal Mint to issue the Royal Mint Gold (RMG) cryptocurrency, backed by gold.
18) Ripple published a financial report for the third quarter of 2018: sales of XRP tokens increased more than twofold and generated revenue of $163.33 million.
19) While the major stock indexes collapsed, Bitcoin continued to stand its ground. This refutes the widespread claims that the price of Bitcoin correlates with traditional finances. It’s worth noting that the current collapse of the US stock market is one of the biggest in recent years. The fall in the Nasdaq technology index, which dropped by 4.43% over the day, was especially disheartening. This is the biggest fall since August 2011.
20) The number of Google search requests for the word “Bitcoin” decreased by 93% compared to last December. This is quite natural, because back then the price of Bitcoin reached its peak.
2. Market analysis from club experts for October 22–28, 2018
The last week was hardly surprising for crypto traders and investors. Volatility, pumps/dumps, despair and enthusiasm — all the usual stuff.
Compared to the stock market though, the waves of the crypto market begin to look pale sometimes. The total capitalization remained in the $208–211 billion corridor for the entire week, despite the worries.
Trading volumes were also fairly stable: $9–11 billion. BTC dominated the market at 54% without deviations, although the Altcoins performed very good.
In the end of the week, the price for 1 BTC remained the same: $6480 on Monday and Sunday, though it fluctuated between $6380 and $6540 ($6478 at the time of the report) during the week.
However, the last week showed a strong growth of a number of coins, despite the price of BTC, and many coins skyrocketed from the levels below TOP100 CMC. Last week the stock market experienced a rather sharp fall, and according to reports, a number of stocks have incomparably higher volatility than many coins from TOP100.
The general sentiment makes it clear that cryptographic market is gaining increasingly more attention of institutional traders and very soon trading instruments will be available through a single terminal in any market.
In the meantime, the blockchain technology and cryptocurrency are gaining momentum in the world, and that’s great! Though some cypherpunks are not happy about this!
3. Changes in the cost and capitalization of the TOP-10 cryptocurrencies in the period of October 22–28, 2018

https://preview.redd.it/91fmpru2t5v11.jpg?width=681&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=91c4bc7dca5190cf8bf6c326bdae5d1f32002df4
4. TOP-3 growing coins from the long-term portfolio for October 22–28, 2018 (including portfolio updates) The fastest growing portfolio coins: IOTeX + 50% (), Neblio NEBL + 40% (), Decred DCR + 15% (listing on Binance). The worst performing coin is Mysterium MYST -28% — correction of the growth during the last week.
Want to be the first to receive news, updates from analysts and trade signals? Join @gitsupport channel and start earning with us!
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Robinhood Receives License To Operate Within New York City

Robinhood and LibertyX have been officially gained the approval to deal in Virtual currencies within New York City from the NYDFS.

Robinhood Crypto Launches in New York City

Robinhood, which is a trading platform for stocks, will be expanding its affiliation with digital currencies for the citizens of New York. This feature is however not new to Robinhood users in other parts of the United States, the only difference is that the firm was holding out on providing Crypto related services to New Yorkers awaiting approval from the NYDFS (New York State Department of Financial Services).
The state of New York has approved the app to provide Crypto services through seven digital currencies which include Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin. The Robinhood Crypto feature was already accessible to residents within various states within the US. Robinhood has been recently facing some controversy on account of the firm releasing bank accounts that are interest bearing which the SIPC (Securities Investor Protection Corporation) does not cover.
Vlad Tenev, the co-chief executive of Robinhood in the press release thanked the NYDFS for their decision saying that the agency had been accommodating and provided a lot of support throughout the process. Tenev added that Robinhood will be looking forwards to receiving guidance from the agency during the process of launching Robinhood Crypto in the New York area.

Extensive Regulation Inhibiting Innovation

LibertyX is a nationwide network that enables retailers, in exchange for Bitcoin, to receive transactions in cash and credit cards. LibertyX, which going by DFS is the first firm to receive approval for the selling of Crypto in exchange for debit cards, will henceforth be able to operate within New York City. Terminals affiliated with LibertyX will now be able to facilitate debit card purchases on a regular basis. Within New York, Bitcoin ATMs only facilitate transactions using cash while Coinbase only accepts credit cards.
The NYDFS released a press statement stating that it has and will continue to answer to innovations taking place within the financial markets space in a prompt an responsible manner. The agency stated that this response will be made by providing licenses for: money transmitters through the money transmitters’ law of New York, online lenders through banking law of New York and digital currency exchanges through the financial services law.
This latest approval puts the total number of licences approved by the DFS, to companies within the Crypto sphere, to sixteen. Critics have however put the agency on blast in the recent past accusing them of slow processing of the applications. This is the reason why extensive regulation has been said to be one of the roadblocks for innovations. Investors pull their resources together into a project only to have the government slow down the project on account of regulation.

Varying Opinions On The Introduction of the BitLicense

New York City’s introduction of the BitLicense was received contentiously by many people within the Crypto community. Crypto exchanges on their part protested this introduction by disregarding customers within New York City in their offerings and services.

#LibertyX #NEWS #NYDFS #Robinhood
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Altisource Portfolio Solutions S.A.

Altisource Portfolio Solutions S.A.
This is gonna be a long one.
"You don't have to know how much a man weighs to know he is fat."
Background:
Altisource Portfolio solutions "Altisource" was spun off from Ocwen Financial in 2009. Ocwen financial is a mortgage servicer. Of all the mortgage servicers, Ocwen is the most cost efficient, best run, and best capitalized. As a mortgage servicer, Ocwen acquires mortgage servicing rights (MSRs). Owners of MSRs collect a small fee from every mortgage payment it is servicing. Ocwen may service a mortgage by handling day to day tasks of servicing a loan, process payments, keep track of principal and interest paid, manages escrow accounts, initiate foreclosure, modify loan payments for subprime and delinquent loans and so on.
The reason Altisource was spun off from Ocwen in 2009 is because Ocwen's Chairman Bill Erbey knew the software division of Ocwen was not being valued properly within the business. Altisource is now incorporated in Luxembourg for tax reasons but it basically does everything a United States company would do. It files with the SEC, gets audited and does almost all business in the United States.
Thesis:
What does Altisource do?
From the 2013 10k-
"Altisource®, together with its subsidiaries, is a premier marketplace and transaction solutions provider for the real estate, mortgage and consumer debt industries offering both distribution and content. We leverage proprietary business process, vendor and electronic payment management software and behavioral science based analytics to improve outcomes for marketplace participants."
If you figured out what they did from reading that, congratulations, because I couldn't. I own the company and I still do not know all of the services they provide. What I do know is that more than half of Altisource's revenue is derived from Ocwen. Ocwen uses Altiosurce's state of the art servicing technology to service their loans. Altisource's technology allows Ocwen to be such a low-cost servicer. Altisource only provides their technology to Ocwen and no other servicers.
http://oraclefromomaha.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/1.png
In the above link, you can see the ways Altisource generates revenue. The main thing to know here is that Altisource generates a huge portion of their revenue from Ocwen. When Ocwen makes less modifications on loans, they use Altisource's services less so Altisource makes less money. When Ocwen modifies more loans then Altisource makes more money because Ocwen uses their serivices more. It provides a hedge against parts of their business that may struggle in a recession like any other business. During the natural economic cycle if there is a recession and Ocwen is modifying more loans because more homeowners cannot make payments then Altisource is making more money than they would during good economic times because Ocwen uses their services more. The more MSRs Ocwen acquires, the more Altisource makes.
Ocwen's growth (basically a quick long thesis on Ocwen)
When a bank loans money to an individual to buy a house, a mortgage is originated and an MSR is created. The bank then keeps the mortgage on its books or sells the mortgage to another entity. Perhaps Fannie or Freddie. But what happens to the MSR? The MSR is then sold to a servicer such as Nationstar, Walter Investment Management Corp, or Ocwen. The reason the banks or originator of the mortgage sell the MSR is because they cannot service it properly and/or they would lose money in the process of trying to service it. Because of Dodd Frank, banks are trying to get MSRs off their books even faster because they cannot service them efficiently as previously mentioned and because they will have to hold 250% more capital against the MSRs. All banks are moving away from owning MSRs and non-bank servicing is becoming a larger industry, and Ocwen is leading the way. Due to the high supply of MSRs that are wanting to be sold by banks the MSRs can currently be bought at a 20-30% yield. Ocwen can buy the most MSRs because they are the best capitalized and they use the most conservative balance sheet. Ocwen being the lowest cost operator provides them with a huge competitive advantage when bidding for MSRs as well. Ocwen will continue to lead the non-bank servicers in buying MSRs. Ocwen currently has $464 billion of unpaid principle balance of loans they are servicing and another trillion dollars of subprime (Ocwen specializes in subprime) UPB is expected to get into the hands of non bank servicers by 2018 (3-4 trillion in UPB of regular MSRs). Ocwen will get the most of that trillion dollars of UPB of any servicer because of their competitive advantages.
Another competitive advantage of Ocwen is their relationship Home Loan Servicing Solutions Ltd. HLSS was also created by Bill Erbey. HLSS provides the capital for Ocwen to service loans so Ocwen does not have to tie up their capital. In the future, HLSS will acquire more loans and allow Ocwen to sub-service them through a unique financing strategy. This strategy called the accretion model is a genius way to get capital for HLSS to afford a virtually unlimited amount of MSRs. HLSS pays a huge dividend and because of this dividend, HLSS trades above its tangible book value due to fixed income hungry investors who want a fat dividend. HLSS then issues more shares above tangible book value to then acquire more MSRs. Issuing shares above book value actually creates value for HLSS shareholders also instead of diluting value as many people would think issuing shares does. Those MSRs are then sub-serviced by Ocwen, who still uses Altisource's technology.
Ocwen is also getting into foreword and reverse mortgage origination so they can have a constant stream of MSRs.
Basically, Ocwen and HLSS are going to acquire more MSRs and Ocwen will be servicing more mortgages. More mortgages serviced by Ocwen = more revenue for altisource.
All MSR transactions have currently been stopped by a New York financial regulator but we will get to that issue later.
Share Repurchases
Up until a few months ago the laws of Luxembourg restricted the amount of shares that Altisource could repurchase. Altisource recently created a foreign subsidiary that does nothing called "MidCo" to hold all other parts of the business so there would legally be no restrictions on share repurchases. Until Altisource did this, they were repurchasing the maximum amount of shares that Luxembourg would allow.
Here is Altisource's entity structure to bypass Luxembourg share repurchase laws http://i.imgur.com/J6LPEc0.jpg
The highlighted dark blue entity will be the entity repurchasing unlimited shares because MidCo, its parent company is not in Luxembourg. How smart is that.
Altisource currently authorized the repurchase of up to 2.9 million shares. 2.9 million shares is 13% of their market cap. They could easily repurchase that amount. Altisource also just finalized a loan with BAC for $200 million to repurchase shares so the share repurchases will really start to kick into high gear with the new liquidity and cheaper price. Up until the sharp share price drop, Altisource was repurchasing for the past several months around $110. That shows the board and management think the company is undervalued at $110 and now it is at $84 and nothing fundamentally changed about the company.
Insider Purchases
During the past 6 months, 3 insiders have purchased at $102, $103, $106, and $120. Between 20% and 43% above current market prices. Bill Erbey also owns 30% of Altisource and 13% of Ocwen. His views are directly in line with other shareholders.
Bill Erbey and his Capital Allocation
Bill Erbey is the Chairman of Ocwen, Altisource Portfolio Solutions, Altisource Asset Management Corporation, Altisource Residential, and Home Loan Servicing Solutions. Bill has done a great job of creating shareholder value for Ocwen and Altisource shareholders. Bill has also greatly benefited from this because of his stakes in thise companies. Before the sharp share price drop due to outside forces, Bill compounded Ocwen's stock at 30% per year since 2002 WITHOUT including the Altisource spinoff which compounded itself since 2009 at almost 75% a year. Altisource then spunoff Altisource Residential and Altisource Asset Management. Every spinoff is a value creating machine. At one point AAMC had compounded 430% in a year and a half, although it was due to a stretched valuation. Bill is dedicated to doing whatever it takes to create shareholder value. He relocated to the Virgin Islands just to save Ocwen some money on taxes.
I once read a story about Bill in his Virgin Islands home and his electric bill for the air conditioning. Keep in mind, Mr. Erbey is a multi billionaire. Bill got his electric bill and saw his costs had skyrocketed due to his air conditioning. Bill then sat there after that baking and sweating in the heat in his home so he could save a couple thousand on his electricity bill. He will do anything to save a dollar.
Hubzu
Hubzu is owned by Altisource. Hubzu is currently an online marketplace to buy and sell foreclosed homes. Like Zillow and Trulia but for foreclosed homes. Hubzu takes foreclosed homes from Ocwen and lists them on their website Hubzu.com. Hubzu is trying to get into the non-distressed house listing like other real estate websites like Zillow and Trulia. This will grow Hubzu at an even faster rate. Altisource states Hubzu gets about 1 million unique new visitors per month. When you buy Altisource you are also buying the jewel of Hubzu. Bill Erbey claims that Hubzu makes "as much money in one quarter as Zillow does in 4 quarters" Zillow has a market capitalization of $5 billion. Zillow's market capitalization is definitely stretched but a spinoff would create a lot of shareholder value even if the market gave Hubzu a fraction of Zillow's valuation.
Why is the company undervalued?
All this greatness in one company so why is it so undervalued? Remember how Altisource's earning were pretty much directly tied to how well Ocwen does? A New York State Financial Department regulator named Benjamin Lawsky halted a $2.7 bilion ($39 billion in UPB) Wells Fargo MSR transfer to Ocwen. This also halted all of the other MSR transactions between banks and servicers. Benjamin Lawsky is probing into Ocwen and other servicers. He states that he wants to make sure Ocwen and other servicers have the capacity to service loans efficiently because they are "growing too fast". The relationships these 5 companies share though is somewhat sketchy. They have a lot of the same board members and they all work with each other and make money off each other. Ocwen is the best servicer of them all though. They provide more loan modifications than anyone else and they have the lowest re default rate.
A slide from an investor presentation shows how they compare to others http://i.imgur.com/YkIKD2O.png
Even if Lawsky did find that some servicers do not have the capacity to service loans then Ocwen would be the last one in question because it is easy to see they are doing the best for their consumer compared to anyone other servicer.
Benjamin Lawsky is doing this for his own political reasons. He wants his name on the news. He wants people to see his name. Perhaps he wants to run for governor or something. Why would he schedule an interview with CNBC about the probe into the mortgage servicers right after it is announced. Why would he send a letter to Altisource and at the same time send it to the press, therefore ruining Altisource's reputation without giving them a chance to respond. He is also really into regulating bitcoin in New York which is just another vehicle to get his name in the news.
There are very recent updates with the regulatory pressure and basically the probing is narrowed down to an issue with force placed insurance and Altisource. Ben Lawsky could not find anything else. He sent this letter on Aug. 4th to Ocwen. So this is what the probe is narrowed down to.
http://www.dfs.ny.gov/about/press2014/pr140804-ocwen-letter.pdf
Basically, if a homeowner is struggling to make payments and can't pay their insurance, Ocwen has the right to force place insurance into their payments so the mortgage owner does not incur massive losses if a catastrophe happens. Ocwen has to outsource whoever force places the insurance and the issue that Ben Lawsky was worried about was why Altisource was appointed to find someone to force place that insurance, why Altisource received commission for basically doing nothing, and why Bill Erbey did not consult with any of the Ocwen board before making this decision to allow Altisource to find an insurer.
Altisource will probably get a one time fine settlement and they will go on doing business as usual. I believe this because an almost identical situation happened with Assurant and the New York State Financial Department and they settled for $14 million. There is also an interview on CNBC with someone who talks to the CEO of Ocwen and they are sure that Ocwen and Altisource will just settle with a deal with Lawsky and that will be the end of it.
Interview:
http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000298804
Risks Benjamin Lawsky actually finds something else that Altisource was doing wrong. Bill Erbey Dies. He is in his 60s and overweight.
Conclusion
In conclusion Altisource is extremely cheap. Remember that quote about not knowing how much a man weighs but knowing he is fat? That is the case with Altisource. Altisource is definitely undervalued but there are a range of possibilities of the valuation with Hubzu, regulatory matters, growth, etc.
submitted by nomcow to SecurityAnalysis [link] [comments]

Please help edit this response to NY BitLicense proposal. If passed 'as-is' the proposed rules will shut my business plans down; yet the lawyers claim to improve the jobs market with these rules.

August 5, 2014
DFS Office of General Counsel - Dana V. Syracuse, New York State Department of Financial Services, One State Street, New York, NY 10004,
Greetings Dana V. Syracuse,
Money laundering, terrorist financing, and other criminal activities are of grave concern to both Virtual Currency operators and law enforcement organizations. Like old fashioned cash, Bitcoin related technologies can contribute to illicit activity. Neither the business community nor the public want Virtual Currencies to fall into the realm of black markets. Practical and informed regulation is needed in this industry to ensure a safe and accessible experience for all participants. Please know that the distributed computing technologies that make Bitcoin possible are extremely powerful to change the world drastically. We will all have a better outcome if regulators work amicably with the developers of these systems.
Because of the shear power of distributed technologies, we need lawmakers to produce regulations which are perceived by all to be fair for all and in the best interest of all. We need smart rule-making that specifically enables innovation, openness, and fairness. These are the traits that have made Virtual Currencies popular in the first place, and it is imperative that the rules governing them inspire the same confidence among all people. Practically speaking, virtual currencies handle worldwide transactions for free. Savings accounts, payments, transfers and trading are all essentially free when done using virtual currencies. As software and services are built on top, these services can and will be made available to the poorest among us for free. Smart, innovative, regulations will help all consumers safely realize that promise sooner.
Besides the coming help for consumers, virtual currencies are also perfectly suited for business much the same as web-pages are. Nearly every successful business today has a web presence in some form and no one can argue against the value that web pages have provided both to business and consumers. Every business should have its own digital currency for several practical reasons: to manage coupons, promotions, in store credit, exchanges, and gift cards. In order to fully utilize the benefit of Virtual Currencies, businesses also need the ability to utilize other practical functionality which is offered by digital assets. Many of these new features are currently in early design and implementation stages. Examples include brilliant work that will allow for automated accounting, automated repurchase of inventory, Cut and Paste business models, smart contracts, payroll, etc. A primary concern of the BitLicense regulation is that there are no built in allowances to promote ongoing innovations that promise to streamline a spectrum of business and financial processes.
While Virtual Currencies are an amazing equalizing force for both consumers and business, the distributed computing eco-system has already evolved to provide even more business and financial services. Now, whole systems of trust and business relationships are being developed and managed by open source computer code. These systems are fair, transparent, and help all participants get exactly what they were expecting out of any business relationship. Programmers are attempting to build a world where no one cheats because the computing arrangement over which deals are made prevent any participant from cheating. Ongoing development of the underlying distributed computing software systems is crucial to a favorable outcome for consumers in this world. Additionally, when all virtual currency and distributed computing related software is kept open source, these streamlined business activities become just as affordable to implement for Jan's Sandwiches as they are for Walmart and Starbucks to implement.
A practical example of how the New York BitLicense regulations might harm consumers is as follows: Imagine that a consumer has $1.73 left on 12 different store's gift cards. From personal experience, these cards get lost when the balance drops into that range because its more trouble than its worth to claim that last bit of value. However, with a trade-able store credit and the magic of Virtual Currencies, the consumer is now empowered to trade those (12) random $1.73 cards in for (1) $20.76 card to the store of his or her choice. Of course business owners should have the right to choose whether or not they want to participate, but this arrangement is obviously fair to the consumer who purchased the credits at fair value. Clearly, section 200.3 (c)(2) of proposed regulation is not sufficient to allow small businesses to offer many of the consumer enhancing services which Virtual Currencies easily make possible. Businesses need the freedom to issue their own virtual currency as easily as starting up a web-page, and it is in the best interest of consumers that they be allowed to trade any virtual currency freely.
FinCEN made a good common sense adjustment in their regulations on small businesses with regard to the buying and selling of precious metals. For example, as long as a business owner keeps their buying and selling at a hobby level of less than $50,000 per year, they are exempt from licensing. This is a very effective way to let someone design a business model and try it out; if they can make money, they can then seek investors and progress towards full compliance with standard regulatory policies. We can set the expectation that new digital currency business ventures shall be vigilant to prevent their services from being used to launder money or finance terrorists without the costs normally associated with a full KYC/AML program compliance.
At minimum, New York should allow for a Bit-Startup-License that costs a reasonable amount, $25.00 per year for example. It should be issued by FinCEN so that there is only one license required nationwide. It should be for businesses who have annual revenue of $250,000 or less and there should be an automatic inflation adjustment since we would want this regulation to be just as practical 25 yrs. from now. The simple, straight forward process of retaining customer identities on accounts could be as simple as keeping a drivers license and utility bill on file. A simple requirement to track large transactions over 10K per day is also manageable. By keeping all of the required processes low cost, simple, and practical, we can prevent money laundering and criminal activity without hindering the amazing innovations that digital currencies represent. As a bonus, we might actually create new jobs in this country where they are needed most. If a state must amend the FinCEN rules it would be most practical for all that they keep the amendments to federal regulation to a minimum; otherwise consumers will incur increased costs and lower quality services.
There is a huge cost of "lost opportunity" which is not considered accurately in the — RIS, a Regulatory Impact Statement which is required by New York law. We small and start-up business owners have friends and family that also see the vision for benefit that Virtual Currencies offer to all of mankind. We are working together to implement these technologies to provide innovative new services that will make people's lives better. We can work our day jobs and go home at night and learn and program and make these innovations happen. We can do this, and we can do it without big money. When regulations require that small start-up businesses must obtain large amounts of capital to hire teams of people to perform arbitrary regulatory tasks, the natural effect is to prevent these small businesses from ever starting up. The natural effect is to prevent these engines of job creation from ever getting off the ground. What in these regulations will help someone in Jarrell, TX start an international trading company that provides jobs to disadvantaged mothers in South Carolina and Texas and valuable services to the citizens of New York and the rest of America?
If there is no help, and if there is no consideration for cost of compliance for small businesses, then all should assume the obvious: These regulations are designed to keep power and money and opportunity firmly in the grasp of the clinched fists of those who have it already. People are desperate for jobs in this country. The people who have jobs are desperate to keep them. The whole of our current financial system is designed to systematically keep the average citizen in desperate conditions. It is designed to keep them working as cogs on a wheel working for the owners of the machines. There is pent up demand to change this, and when the time is right, change will come. The owners of the machines should realize that this is good for all. When people are free to realize their true potential, great progress is made that will benefit all. Would you rather be a king in 1292, or a lowly multi-millionaire today? Uninhibited development of digital currencies will make everyone's lives better.
Those who desire to keep a stranglehold on money will best serve their own interests by letting go and encouraging this renaissance. All of us will be better off if our current financial system embraces these innovations. Rather than attempt to stifle competition from digital currencies via regulation, the current financial services industry should compete with their own innovations that provide basic banking and investment services to individual consumers for free. People at the lower fringes of our economy are suffering. It is time for changes that are designed to help them succeed. Virtual Currencies, distributed computing, and automated business entities offer opportunity to all who are allowed to participate. To raise the barrier to entry in this field accomplishes no more than to push the poor further into poverty.
Furthermore, the BitLicense regulations have failed to accommodate new distributed protocols that are currently in development or that have been recently released. These distributed technologies apply to more than money now. Whole business models will soon be implemented as a distributed computer script; and once those scripts are started, even the "issuer" has no control from that point forward. If the script makes profit, it will provide whatever service it provides forever. It will pay fees, investors, and vendors as stipulated in the founding instructions which are fairly and transparently programmed into the business model from the beginning. It is mind-blowing what can be done not only in the financial sector, but for all business. Human ownership is no longer required. Competition and constant honing of these scripts will lead to almost all services being delivered to consumers at near cost and many services for free. Fairness and transparency will be built into these systems because trust and reputation are the only real requirements for doing business. Any person who claims an interest in advancing the quality of human life is wise to protect and foster open source software development. Ad hoc, status quo regulations will not serve the common good in this case. It is imperative that these systems remain transparent and fair. If not, the real criminals will find a way to go dark and the general public will be saddled with ongoing economic hardship round the world.
Despite the wild west and unregulated nature of Bitcoin, it has created many jobs and opportunity for a variety of people. The community has made every effort to protect its participants from losing money. As with stock market investing, some retail investors lose. The regulated economy does no better; when a company goes bankrupt, it is of little consequence to the holder of common shares when they receive a $2.51 settlement. Consumers are best served simply by warning them and educating them that the virtual currency sector is uninsured and that all invested funds are at risk. The proposed regulations admit that they do nothing to insure customer funds or the value of virtual currencies. Participants should be informed that to participate is to risk full losses. The proposed regulations do nothing to mitigate the risk of full losses, and therefore, the cost of implementing the regulations in their current form is not justified. These proposed regulations are appropriate only for a firm that does want to establish SPIC insurance protection for its customers.
Finally, with regards to the prohibition of the release of new virtual currencies; this is not consistent with judicial precedent and should absolutely be removed from the proposed regulations. Open source code is protected free speech. Individuals have a fundamental human right to communicate freely and privately with each other. These proposed regulations will infringe on many people's ability to freely communicate with persons in the state of New York.
Conclusion
Please consider withdrawing the BitLicense proposal at this time for the following practical reasons:
  1. Virtual Currencies are international endeavours and are regulated more efficiently at the federal level.
  2. These BitLicense regulations have no accurate consideration for the costs of lost opportunity from their effective suppression of low capital start-ups in the virtual currency and distributed computing industries.
  3. There has been no demonstration of harm done --due to lack of regulation-- to consumers in the state of New York or elsewhere.
  4. The application of existing law has been effectively used to curtail unlawful and damaging activities which use virtual currencies. Examples of good use of existing law include a ponzi scheme bust in Texas, the silk road bust, and the bankruptcy case for Mt.Gox.
  5. These regulations have no educated provisions for distributed trading and data exchange systems like the NXT Asset Exchange platform, Open Tranactions, Mastercoin, Ethereum, or Maidsafe.
  6. These regulations do not comply with previous court rulings. Two federal appeals courts have established the rule that cryptographic software source code is speech protected by the First Amendment (the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in the Bernstein case and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in the Junger case).
Thank you for taking the time to read these concerns.
Sincerely,
James Andrews
submitted by crypto-daytrader to Bitcoin [link] [comments]

Altisource Portfolio Solutions (S.A.) Long Thesis

Altisource Portfolio Solutions S.A.
This is gonna be a long one.
"You don't have to know how much a man weighs to know he is fat."
Background:
Altisource Portfolio solutions "Altisource" was spun off from Ocwen Financial in 2009. Ocwen financial is a mortgage servicer. Of all the mortgage servicers, Ocwen is the most cost efficient, best run, and best capitalized. As a mortgage servicer, Ocwen acquires mortgage servicing rights (MSRs). Owners of MSRs collect a small fee from every mortgage payment it is servicing. Ocwen may service a mortgage by handling day to day tasks of servicing a loan, process payments, keep track of principal and interest paid, manages escrow accounts, initiate foreclosure, modify loan payments for subprime and delinquent loans and so on.
The reason Altisource was spun off from Ocwen in 2009 is because Ocwen's Chairman Bill Erbey knew the software division of Ocwen was not being valued properly within the business. Altisource is now incorporated in Luxembourg for tax reasons but it basically does everything a United States company would do. It files with the SEC, gets audited and does almost all business in the United States.
Thesis:
What does Altisource do?
From the 2013 10k-
"Altisource®, together with its subsidiaries, is a premier marketplace and transaction solutions provider for the real estate, mortgage and consumer debt industries offering both distribution and content. We leverage proprietary business process, vendor and electronic payment management software and behavioral science based analytics to improve outcomes for marketplace participants."
If you figured out what they did from reading that, congratulations, because I couldn't. I own the company and I still do not know all of the services they provide. What I do know is that more than half of Altisource's revenue is derived from Ocwen. Ocwen uses Altiosurce's state of the art servicing technology to service their loans. Altisource's technology allows Ocwen to be such a low-cost servicer. Altisource only provides their technology to Ocwen and no other servicers.
http://oraclefromomaha.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/1.png
In the above link, you can see the ways Altisource generates revenue. The main thing to know here is that Altisource generates a huge portion of their revenue from Ocwen. When Ocwen makes less modifications on loans, they use Altisource's services less so Altisource makes less money. When Ocwen modifies more loans then Altisource makes more money because Ocwen uses their serivices more. It provides a hedge against parts of their business that may struggle in a recession like any other business. During the natural economic cycle if there is a recession and Ocwen is modifying more loans because more homeowners cannot make payments then Altisource is making more money than they would during good economic times because Ocwen uses their services more. The more MSRs Ocwen acquires, the more Altisource makes.
Ocwen's growth (basically a quick long thesis on Ocwen)
When a bank loans money to an individual to buy a house, a mortgage is originated and an MSR is created. The bank then keeps the mortgage on its books or sells the mortgage to another entity. Perhaps Fannie or Freddie. But what happens to the MSR? The MSR is then sold to a servicer such as Nationstar, Walter Investment Management Corp, or Ocwen. The reason the banks or originator of the mortgage sell the MSR is because they cannot service it properly and/or they would lose money in the process of trying to service it. Because of Dodd Frank, banks are trying to get MSRs off their books even faster because they cannot service them efficiently as previously mentioned and because they will have to hold 250% more capital against the MSRs. All banks are moving away from owning MSRs and non-bank servicing is becoming a larger industry, and Ocwen is leading the way. Due to the high supply of MSRs that are wanting to be sold by banks the MSRs can currently be bought at a 20-30% yield. Ocwen can buy the most MSRs because they are the best capitalized and they use the most conservative balance sheet. Ocwen being the lowest cost operator provides them with a huge competitive advantage when bidding for MSRs as well. Ocwen will continue to lead the non-bank servicers in buying MSRs. Ocwen currently has $464 billion of unpaid principle balance of loans they are servicing and another trillion dollars of subprime (Ocwen specializes in Subprime) UPB is expected to get into the hands of non bank servicers by 2018 (3-4 trillion in regular MSRs). Ocwen will get the most of that trillion dollars of UPB of any servicer because of their competitive advantages.
Another competitive advantage of Ocwen is their relationship Home Loan Servicing Solutions Ltd. HLSS was also created by Bill Erbey. HLSS provides the capital for Ocwen to service loans so Ocwen does not have to tie up their capital. In the future, HLSS will acquire more loans and allow Ocwen to sub-service them through a unique financing strategy. This strategy called the accretion model is a genius way to get capital for HLSS to afford a virtually unlimited amount of MSRs. HLSS pays a huge dividend and because of this dividend, HLSS trades above its tangible book value due to fixed income hungry investors who want a fat dividend. HLSS then issues more shares above tangible book value to then acquire more MSRs. Issuing shares above book value actually creates value for HLSS shareholders also instead of diluting value as many people would think issuing shares does. Those MSRs are then sub-serviced by Ocwen, who still uses Altisource's technology.
Ocwen is also getting into foreword and reverse mortgage origination so they can have a constant stream of MSRs.
Basically, Ocwen and HLSS are going to acquire more MSRs and Ocwen will be servicing more mortgages. More mortgages serviced by Ocwen = more revenue for altisource.
All MSR transactions have currently been stopped by a New York financial regulator but we will get to that issue later.
Share Repurchases
Up until a few months ago the laws of Luxembourg restricted the amount of shares that Altisource could repurchase. Altisource recently created a foreign subsidiary that does nothing called "MidCo" to hold all other parts of the business so there would legally be no restrictions on share repurchases. Until Altisource did this, they were repurchasing the maximum amount of shares that Luxembourg would allow.
Here is Altisource's entity structure to bypass Luxembourg share repurchase laws http://i.imgur.com/J6LPEc0.jpg
The highlighted dark blue entity will be the entity repurchasing unlimited shares because MidCo, its parent company is not in Luxembourg. How smart is that.
Altisource currently authorized the repurchase of up to 2.9 million shares. 2.9 million shares is 13% of their market cap. They could easily repurchase that amount. Altisource also just finalized a loan with BAC for $200 million to repurchase shares so the share repurchases will really start to kick into high gear with the new liquidity and cheaper price. Up until the sharp share price drop, Altisource was repurchasing for the past several months around $110. That shows the board and management think the company is undervalued at $110 and now it is at $84 and nothing fundamentally changed about the company.
Insider Purchases
During the past 6 months, 3 insiders have purchased at $102, $103, $106, and $120. Between 20% and 43% above current market prices. Bill Erbey also owns 30% of Altisource and 13% of Ocwen. His views are directly in line with other shareholders.
Bill Erbey and his Capital Allocation
Bill Erbey is the Chairman of Ocwen, Altisource Portfolio Solutions, Altisource Asset Management Corporation, Altisource Residential, and Home Loan Servicing Solutions. Bill has done a great job of creating shareholder value for Ocwen and Altisource shareholders. Bill has also greatly benefited from this because of his stakes in thise companies. Before the sharp share price drop due to outside forces, Bill compounded Ocwen's stock at 30% per year since 2002 WITHOUT including the Altisource spinoff which compounded itself since 2009 at almost 75% a year. Altisource then spunoff Altisource Residential and Altisource Asset Management. Every spinoff is a value creating machine. At one point AAMC had compounded 430% in a year and a half, although it was due to a stretched valuation. Bill is dedicated to doing whatever it takes to create shareholder value. He relocated to the Virgin Islands just to save Ocwen some money on taxes.
I once read a story about Bill in his Virgin Islands home and his electric bill for the air conditioning. Keep in mind, Mr. Erbey is a multi billionaire. Bill got his electric bill and saw his costs had skyrocketed due to his air conditioning. Bill then sat there after that baking and sweating in the heat in his home so he could save a couple thousand on his electricity bill. He will do anything to save a dollar.
Hubzu
Hubzu is owned by Altisource. Hubzu is currently an online marketplace to buy and sell foreclosed homes. Like Zillow and Trulia but for foreclosed homes. Hubzu takes foreclosed homes from Ocwen and lists them on their website Hubzu.com. Hubzu is trying to get into the non-distressed house listing like other real estate websites like Zillow and Trulia. This will grow Hubzu at an even faster rate. Altisource states Hubzu gets about 1 million unique new visitors per month. When you buy Altisource you are also buying the jewel of Hubzu. Bill Erbey claims that Hubzu makes "as much money in one quarter as Zillow does in 4 quarters" Zillow has a market capitalization of $5 billion. Zillow's market capitalization is definitely stretched but a spinoff would create a lot of shareholder value even if the market gave Hubzu a fraction of Zillow's valuation.
Why is the company undervalued?
All this greatness in one company so why is it so undervalued? Remember how Altisource's earning were pretty much directly tied to how well Ocwen does? A New York State Financial Department regulator named Benjamin Lawsky halted a $2.7 bilion ($39 billion in UPB) Wells Fargo MSR transfer to Ocwen. This also halted all of the other MSR transactions between banks and servicers. Benjamin Lawsky is probing into Ocwen and other servicers. He states that he wants to make sure Ocwen and other servicers have the capacity to service loans efficiently because they are "growing too fast". The relationships these 5 companies share though is somewhat sketchy. They have a lot of the same board members and they all work with each other and make money off each other. Ocwen is the best servicer of them all though. They provide more loan modifications than anyone else and they have the lowest re default rate.
A slide from an investor presentation shows how they compare to others http://i.imgur.com/YkIKD2O.png
Even if Lawsky did find that some servicers do not have the capacity to service loans then Ocwen would be the last one in question because it is easy to see they are doing the best for their consumer compared to anyone other servicer.
Benjamin Lawsky is doing this for his own political reasons. He wants his name on the news. He wants people to see his name. Perhaps he wants to run for governor or something. Why would he schedule an interview with CNBC about the probe into the mortgage servicers right after it is announced. Why would he send a letter to Altisource and at the same time send it to the press, therefore ruining Altisource's reputation without giving them a chance to respond. He is also really into regulating bitcoin in New York which is just another vehicle to get his name in the news.
There are very recent updates with the regulatory pressure and basically the probing is narrowed down to an issue with force placed insurance and Altisource. Ben Lawsky could not find anything else. He sent this letter on Aug. 4th to Ocwen. So this is what the probe is narrowed down to.
http://www.dfs.ny.gov/about/press2014/pr140804-ocwen-letter.pdf
Basically, if a homeowner is struggling to make payments and can't pay their insurance, Ocwen has the right to force place insurance into their payments so the mortgage owner does not incur massive losses if a catastrophe happens. Ocwen has to outsource whoever force places the insurance and the issue that Ben Lawsky was worried about was why Altisource was appointed to find someone to force place that insurance, why Altisource received commission for basically doing nothing, and why Bill Erbey did not consult with any of the Ocwen board before making this decision to allow Altisource to find an insurer.
Altisource will probably get a one time fine settlement and they will go on doing business as usual. I believe this because an almost identical situation happened with Assurant and the New York State Financial Department and they settled for $14 million. There is also an interview on CNBC with someone who talks to the CEO of Ocwen and they are sure that Ocwen and Altisource will just settle with a deal with Lawsky and that will be the end of it.
Interview:
http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000298804
Risks Benjamin Lawsky actually finds something else that Altisource was doing wrong. Bill Erbey Dies. He is in his 60s and overweight.
Conclusion
In conclusion Altisource is extremely cheap. Remember that quote about not knowing how much a man weighs but knowing he is fat? That is the case with Altisource. Altisource is definitely undervalued but there are a range of possibilities of the valuation with Hubzu, regulatory matters, growth, etc.
submitted by nomcow to valueinvestorsclub [link] [comments]

Altisource Portfolio Solutions S.A.

Altisource Portfolio Solutions S.A.
This is gonna be a long one.
"You don't have to know how much a man weighs to know he is fat."
Background:
Altisource Portfolio solutions "Altisource" was spun off from Ocwen Financial in 2009. Ocwen financial is a mortgage servicer. Of all the mortgage servicers, Ocwen is the most cost efficient, best run, and best capitalized. As a mortgage servicer, Ocwen acquires mortgage servicing rights (MSRs). Owners of MSRs collect a small fee from every mortgage payment it is servicing. Ocwen may service a mortgage by handling day to day tasks of servicing a loan, process payments, keep track of principal and interest paid, manages escrow accounts, initiate foreclosure, modify loan payments for subprime and delinquent loans and so on.
The reason Altisource was spun off from Ocwen in 2009 is because Ocwen's Chairman Bill Erbey knew the software division of Ocwen was not being valued properly within the business. Altisource is now incorporated in Luxembourg for tax reasons but it basically does everything a United States company would do. It files with the SEC, gets audited and does almost all business in the United States.
Thesis:
What does Altisource do?
From the 2013 10k-
"Altisource®, together with its subsidiaries, is a premier marketplace and transaction solutions provider for the real estate, mortgage and consumer debt industries offering both distribution and content. We leverage proprietary business process, vendor and electronic payment management software and behavioral science based analytics to improve outcomes for marketplace participants."
If you figured out what they did from reading that, congratulations, because I couldn't. I own the company and I still do not know all of the services they provide. What I do know is that more than half of Altisource's revenue is derived from Ocwen. Ocwen uses Altiosurce's state of the art servicing technology to service their loans. Altisource's technology allows Ocwen to be such a low-cost servicer. Altisource only provides their technology to Ocwen and no other servicers.
http://oraclefromomaha.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/1.png
In the above link, you can see the ways Altisource generates revenue. The main thing to know here is that Altisource generates a huge portion of their revenue from Ocwen. When Ocwen makes less modifications on loans, they use Altisource's services less so Altisource makes less money. When Ocwen modifies more loans then Altisource makes more money because Ocwen uses their serivices more. It provides a hedge against parts of their business that may struggle in a recession like any other business. During the natural economic cycle if there is a recession and Ocwen is modifying more loans because more homeowners cannot make payments then Altisource is making more money than they would during good economic times because Ocwen uses their services more. The more MSRs Ocwen acquires, the more Altisource makes.
Ocwen's growth (basically a quick long thesis on Ocwen)
When a bank loans money to an individual to buy a house, a mortgage is originated and an MSR is created. The bank then keeps the mortgage on its books or sells the mortgage to another entity. Perhaps Fannie or Freddie. But what happens to the MSR? The MSR is then sold to a servicer such as Nationstar, Walter Investment Management Corp, or Ocwen. The reason the banks or originator of the mortgage sell the MSR is because they cannot service it properly and/or they would lose money in the process of trying to service it. Because of Dodd Frank, banks are trying to get MSRs off their books even faster because they cannot service them efficiently as previously mentioned and because they will have to hold 250% more capital against the MSRs. All banks are moving away from owning MSRs and non-bank servicing is becoming a larger industry, and Ocwen is leading the way. Due to the high supply of MSRs that are wanting to be sold by banks the MSRs can currently be bought at a 20-30% yield. Ocwen can buy the most MSRs because they are the best capitalized and they use the most conservative balance sheet. Ocwen being the lowest cost operator provides them with a huge competitive advantage when bidding for MSRs as well. Ocwen will continue to lead the non-bank servicers in buying MSRs. Ocwen currently has $464 billion of unpaid principle balance of loans they are servicing and another trillion dollars of subprime (Ocwen specializes in subprime) UPB is expected to get into the hands of non bank servicers by 2018 (3-4 trillion in UPB of regular MSRs). Ocwen will get the most of that trillion dollars of UPB of any servicer because of their competitive advantages.
Another competitive advantage of Ocwen is their relationship Home Loan Servicing Solutions Ltd. HLSS was also created by Bill Erbey. HLSS provides the capital for Ocwen to service loans so Ocwen does not have to tie up their capital. In the future, HLSS will acquire more loans and allow Ocwen to sub-service them through a unique financing strategy. This strategy called the accretion model is a genius way to get capital for HLSS to afford a virtually unlimited amount of MSRs. HLSS pays a huge dividend and because of this dividend, HLSS trades above its tangible book value due to fixed income hungry investors who want a fat dividend. HLSS then issues more shares above tangible book value to then acquire more MSRs. Issuing shares above book value actually creates value for HLSS shareholders also instead of diluting value as many people would think issuing shares does. Those MSRs are then sub-serviced by Ocwen, who still uses Altisource's technology.
Ocwen is also getting into foreword and reverse mortgage origination so they can have a constant stream of MSRs.
Basically, Ocwen and HLSS are going to acquire more MSRs and Ocwen will be servicing more mortgages. More mortgages serviced by Ocwen = more revenue for altisource.
All MSR transactions have currently been stopped by a New York financial regulator but we will get to that issue later.
Share Repurchases
Up until a few months ago the laws of Luxembourg restricted the amount of shares that Altisource could repurchase. Altisource recently created a foreign subsidiary that does nothing called "MidCo" to hold all other parts of the business so there would legally be no restrictions on share repurchases. Until Altisource did this, they were repurchasing the maximum amount of shares that Luxembourg would allow.
Here is Altisource's entity structure to bypass Luxembourg share repurchase laws http://i.imgur.com/J6LPEc0.jpg
The highlighted dark blue entity will be the entity repurchasing unlimited shares because MidCo, its parent company is not in Luxembourg. How smart is that.
Altisource currently authorized the repurchase of up to 2.9 million shares. 2.9 million shares is 13% of their market cap. They could easily repurchase that amount. Altisource also just finalized a loan with BAC for $200 million to repurchase shares so the share repurchases will really start to kick into high gear with the new liquidity and cheaper price. Up until the sharp share price drop, Altisource was repurchasing for the past several months around $110. That shows the board and management think the company is undervalued at $110 and now it is at $84 and nothing fundamentally changed about the company.
Insider Purchases
During the past 6 months, 3 insiders have purchased at $102, $103, $106, and $120. Between 20% and 43% above current market prices. Bill Erbey also owns 30% of Altisource and 13% of Ocwen. His views are directly in line with other shareholders.
Bill Erbey and his Capital Allocation
Bill Erbey is the Chairman of Ocwen, Altisource Portfolio Solutions, Altisource Asset Management Corporation, Altisource Residential, and Home Loan Servicing Solutions. Bill has done a great job of creating shareholder value for Ocwen and Altisource shareholders. Bill has also greatly benefited from this because of his stakes in thise companies. Before the sharp share price drop due to outside forces, Bill compounded Ocwen's stock at 30% per year since 2002 WITHOUT including the Altisource spinoff which compounded itself since 2009 at almost 75% a year. Altisource then spunoff Altisource Residential and Altisource Asset Management. Every spinoff is a value creating machine. At one point AAMC had compounded 430% in a year and a half, although it was due to a stretched valuation. Bill is dedicated to doing whatever it takes to create shareholder value. He relocated to the Virgin Islands just to save Ocwen some money on taxes.
I once read a story about Bill in his Virgin Islands home and his electric bill for the air conditioning. Keep in mind, Mr. Erbey is a multi billionaire. Bill got his electric bill and saw his costs had skyrocketed due to his air conditioning. Bill then sat there after that baking and sweating in the heat in his home so he could save a couple thousand on his electricity bill. He will do anything to save a dollar.
Hubzu
Hubzu is owned by Altisource. Hubzu is currently an online marketplace to buy and sell foreclosed homes. Like Zillow and Trulia but for foreclosed homes. Hubzu takes foreclosed homes from Ocwen and lists them on their website Hubzu.com. Hubzu is trying to get into the non-distressed house listing like other real estate websites like Zillow and Trulia. This will grow Hubzu at an even faster rate. Altisource states Hubzu gets about 1 million unique new visitors per month. When you buy Altisource you are also buying the jewel of Hubzu. Bill Erbey claims that Hubzu makes "as much money in one quarter as Zillow does in 4 quarters" Zillow has a market capitalization of $5 billion. Zillow's market capitalization is definitely stretched but a spinoff would create a lot of shareholder value even if the market gave Hubzu a fraction of Zillow's valuation.
Why is the company undervalued?
All this greatness in one company so why is it so undervalued? Remember how Altisource's earning were pretty much directly tied to how well Ocwen does? A New York State Financial Department regulator named Benjamin Lawsky halted a $2.7 bilion ($39 billion in UPB) Wells Fargo MSR transfer to Ocwen. This also halted all of the other MSR transactions between banks and servicers. Benjamin Lawsky is probing into Ocwen and other servicers. He states that he wants to make sure Ocwen and other servicers have the capacity to service loans efficiently because they are "growing too fast". The relationships these 5 companies share though is somewhat sketchy. They have a lot of the same board members and they all work with each other and make money off each other. Ocwen is the best servicer of them all though. They provide more loan modifications than anyone else and they have the lowest re default rate.
A slide from an investor presentation shows how they compare to others http://i.imgur.com/YkIKD2O.png
Even if Lawsky did find that some servicers do not have the capacity to service loans then Ocwen would be the last one in question because it is easy to see they are doing the best for their consumer compared to anyone other servicer.
Benjamin Lawsky is doing this for his own political reasons. He wants his name on the news. He wants people to see his name. Perhaps he wants to run for governor or something. Why would he schedule an interview with CNBC about the probe into the mortgage servicers right after it is announced. Why would he send a letter to Altisource and at the same time send it to the press, therefore ruining Altisource's reputation without giving them a chance to respond. He is also really into regulating bitcoin in New York which is just another vehicle to get his name in the news.
There are very recent updates with the regulatory pressure and basically the probing is narrowed down to an issue with force placed insurance and Altisource. Ben Lawsky could not find anything else. He sent this letter on Aug. 4th to Ocwen. So this is what the probe is narrowed down to.
http://www.dfs.ny.gov/about/press2014/pr140804-ocwen-letter.pdf
Basically, if a homeowner is struggling to make payments and can't pay their insurance, Ocwen has the right to force place insurance into their payments so the mortgage owner does not incur massive losses if a catastrophe happens. Ocwen has to outsource whoever force places the insurance and the issue that Ben Lawsky was worried about was why Altisource was appointed to find someone to force place that insurance, why Altisource received commission for basically doing nothing, and why Bill Erbey did not consult with any of the Ocwen board before making this decision to allow Altisource to find an insurer.
Altisource will probably get a one time fine settlement and they will go on doing business as usual. I believe this because an almost identical situation happened with Assurant and the New York State Financial Department and they settled for $14 million. There is also an interview on CNBC with someone who talks to the CEO of Ocwen and they are sure that Ocwen and Altisource will just settle with a deal with Lawsky and that will be the end of it.
Interview:
http://video.cnbc.com/gallery/?video=3000298804
Risks Benjamin Lawsky actually finds something else that Altisource was doing wrong. Bill Erbey Dies. He is in his 60s and overweight.
Conclusion
In conclusion Altisource is extremely cheap. Remember that quote about not knowing how much a man weighs but knowing he is fat? That is the case with Altisource. Altisource is definitely undervalued but there are a range of possibilities of the valuation with Hubzu, regulatory matters, growth, etc.
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