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Lender Processing Services (NYSE:LPS)

Q4 2012 Earnings Call

February 8, 2013 10:00 a.m. ET

Executives

Nancy Murphy - VP, IR

Hugh Harris - President and CEO

Tom Schilling - CFO and EVP

Analysts

Darrin Peller - Barclays Capital

Carter Malloy - Stephens Inc.

Paul Thomas - Goldman Sachs

Glenn Greene - Oppenheimer

Greg Smith - Agee Sterne, Agee & Leach

Operator

Good day everyone, and welcome to the Lender Processing Services' Fourth Quarter 2012 Earnings Conference. As a reminder, today's conference is being recorded. Your participation on this call is implied consent. If you do not wish to be recorded, then please disconnect at this time. Now I would like to turn the conference over to Nancy Murphy. Please go ahead, ma’am.

Nancy Murphy

Good morning, and welcome to Lender Processing Services' fourth quarter 2012 earnings conference call. Hugh Harris, CEO and Tom Schilling, CFO are with us today to review results and answer your questions. To allow time to field questions from participants, we ask that you please limit yourself to two questions and then re-enter the queue if you like to follow up. Before we get started, I would like to remind you that our earnings release and the slide presentation we will use to facilitate today's discussion are available on the Investor Relations section of our website.

I would also like to remind you that we may make forward-looking statements during today's call and those statements are subject to various risks and uncertainties. Factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from expectations are detailed in our SEC filings, including our 10-K, most recent 10-Q and our earnings release. We do not undertake any duty to update or revise those forward-looking statements, including quarterly guidance. In addition, our discussion today will contain references to non-GAAP results in an attempt to provide a more meaningful presentation in comparison to prior periods. Reconciliations between GAAP and non-GAAP results have been provided in the earnings release.

Now I'll turn the call over to Hugh.

Hugh Harris

Thank you, Nancy. Good morning and thank you for joining our call today. Before I turn to the business of our call, I like to open on a personal note. I am very happy to be back in the LPS full time and I deeply appreciate all of the well wishes I received while I was out. I’d also like to thank Dan Scheuble, Bill Griffin, Tom Schilling, Todd Johnson and Johnny Cash (ph) and the entire management team at LPS who assumed greater responsibilities while I focused on my recovery. The strong financial results that we reported are testimony to the strength and depth of our team.

Let me begin my formal remarks this morning with an overview of the business during the fourth quarter and full year 2012. Tom Schilling, our CFO will then address our financial performance. Later we will open the call up to questions.

LPS delivered strong operating results in the fourth quarter and for the full 2012. Record revenue in the technology, data and analytics and origination services segments was driven by strong client demand for technology-driven solutions to respond to the new industry requirements. Our EBITDA margin increased by more than a point to 27%, reflecting our focus on how to turn businesses.

Strong cash flow, a hallmark of the LPS business model, continued with our fourth consecutive year of free cash flow exceeding $340 million. These strong results validate the LPS business model and the progress we’re making to enhance the mortgage value chain. In addition to our positive financial results, we’ve made significant progress on resolving legal matters related to legacy issue. We’ve now reached settlements with 49 State Attorneys General and the District of Columbia, as well as settling other key legal matters.

As a result of these settlements, LPS increased its legal and regulatory reserve in the fourth quarter about $48 million. Together these settlements put many issues related to past business practices behind us and we can now focus 100% of our efforts to capture the many opportunities we see in the marketplace through our leading technology solutions that our clients want and need.

I would like to note that we did not lose a single client because of these issues related to past practices. Our clients continued to view us as a trusted advisor as we worked together to address the challenges of this industry. In addition, we announced yesterday that our Board of Directors approved $100 million share repurchase program. This action reflects our confidence in the future of our business and our commitment to delivering value and returning cash to our shareholders over the long term.

Looking forward, LPS is pursuing many strategic initiatives to capitalize on growth opportunities in the rapidly evolving mortgage marketplace. We’re investing in our technologies to help our clients meet the new regulatory and business process requirements. New regulations, including the finalization of CFPB rules and the new regulations on the Dodd-Frank are generating increased demand for our solutions. As our clients work to meet these requirements, the demand for innovative technology, data and services is increasing.

No one in the industry is better positioned than LPS to meet these needs from a technology perspective or a trusted advisor. Illustrate this point, last week we hosted a conference call to discuss the recent CFPB rulings and the solutions LPS has to address these changing regulations. More than 475 clients participated in that call. We are also continuing to invest in our servicing platform to add value for our clients and further expand our market leadership.

In 2012 we grew loans on MSP servicing technology by 3%, including implementing five new customers and transferring home equity loans from competing systems. And in addition to our commitment to supporting the top lenders and services we’ve established strong relationships with new market entrants. We continue to expect to benefit as mortgage servicing rights change hands and growing services to look for scalable and trusted technology to meet their compliance and operational needs. For example, we are currently working with Nationstar who recently completed a conversion to our default technology to support their growing portfolio.

We entered 2013 with a strong pipeline of professional services engagement. Our expertise in both mortgage and technology is a major strategic advantage for LPS. Additionally we continue to invest in our origination technology and have made significant progress in expanding our capabilities meet the needs of a larger addressable market. This gives us increased confidence in future growth. We believe these investments will enable LPS to increase its revenue stream from purchase originations as the housing market recovers.

We are leveraging what we have learned and developed for MSP around risk and compliance to make these offerings even more attractive to our clients. Our origination platforms now support the full spectrum of origination channels, including retail, wholesale and correspondent. They also support lenders of all sizes. These systems are integrated with our loan quality gateway platform. This platform allows lenders and investors to evaluate the quality of loans originated both pre-funding and post-funding and helps to increase transparency and reduce risk for the lender.

Ultimately this technology can help reduce the likelihood of repurchases and putbacks. Our unique competitive positioning is fueling a growing contract pipeline. In fact, we have 20 loan original technology implementations scheduled for this year already.

Another area of investment is our data and analytics business which includes expansion of our property records data. Our competitive advantage will be our array of technology-based delivery channels and our deep relationships with the nation’s largest mortgage lenders. We anticipate accelerating growth for our data and analytics business over the next 12 to 18 months.

In our transaction services segment, lenders and servicers are increasingly looking to LPS for scale and compliant origination of default services to meet the evolving requirements. Our appraisal, title and close services are being integrated into our larger clients’ origination channels, including retail, wholesale and correspondent. These services are a key part of our business model because they allow our clients to leverage a single provider for multiple needs. This trend is growing as the industry continues its flight to quality vendors who have the ability to support their growth.

While we believe that refi volume will be down from strong 2012 levels, we are more bullish than many market forecasts, including the MBA. Based on LPS’ mortgage monitor report there are approximately 9 million loans that have refi eligible characteristics. While it’s difficult to predict interest rate sensitive volumes, there still appear to be a large pool of loans eligible to be refinanced, and we’ve heard this to be validated by many of our large clients.

As you may recall in 2012, we significantly changed our default services business model to reduce our risk profile and improve our margins. Our clients have been very supportive of this new model. We now have a more disciplined and risk return focused model and are on a stronger position to capture profitable market share.

Going into 2013, LPS is a stronger company, focusing on expanding our technology leadership and data and analytics capabilities, delivering value-added services to enable our clients to succeed in the new marketplace, managing risk and return, and leveraging strong cash flow to deliver long-term value to our shareholders.

Before I turn the call over to Tom, I would also like to personally welcome Dan Carmichael to LPS’ Board of Directors. Dan brings extensive experience in strategy, operating complex organizations and leveraging data and analytics and will be an outstanding addition to our current board.

With that, I’ll turn it over to Tom.

Tom Schilling

Thank you and good morning everyone. We’re very pleased with our strong operating performance in the fourth quarter and full year 2012. We reported GAAP earnings-per-share of $0.03 in the fourth quarter and $0.83 for the full year while adjusted EPS was $0.74 for quarter and $2.80 for the full year. GAAP results include charges of $0.69 per share in the fourth quarter and $1.88 for the full year. Fourth quarter charge is primarily driven by increased legal reserve and costs associated with our successful debt refinancing completed during the quarter.

We also exited two businesses in the fourth quarter. First, we shut down our OREO asset management business. The changes in the default market have reduced the size and attractiveness of this business and it no longer fits with our business strategy. Also during the quarter, a long time technology relationship we had with a third party came to a contractual end and we agreed to sell the technology assets to them. These businesses are now included within discontinued operations.

The actions we’ve taken over the past several months to reposition LPS for long-term growth and sustainable returns are now reflected in our operating performance. We intensified our focus on high return businesses while exiting non-core operations and reducing risk across our portfolio products and services. As a result, our adjusted EBITDA margin increased more than 1% -- one percentage point to 27%. During 2012 we achieved a record TD&A revenue, and we invested – as we invested $133 million in technology and data-driven solutions to capture growth opportunities as the mortgage industry strives to meet new requirements.

We generated $345 million in adjusted free cash flow for the year. This was our fourth consecutive year of adjusted free cash flow in excess of $340 million. During 2012 we strengthened our financial position by increasing liquidity to $634 million, reducing debt to $1.1 billion and lowering our average interest expense to 5.4% while extending the weighted average debt maturity. Our financial strength provides an important competitive advantage as the new regulatory environment requires our clients to work with partners who meet more rigorous standards. As we entered 2013, we're in a very strong position both strategically and financially to deliver results, to meet our clients’ needs and sustain our investment for future growth.

My remaining comments with regard to fourth quarter and full year performance exclude the impact of the charges and adjustments outlined in the GAAP to non-GAAP reconciliation provided with our earnings release. Fourth quarter revenue totaled $501 million reflecting a 2% decrease from the prior year. For the full year consolidated revenue was $2 billion, up 1% over 2011. LPS received a record revenue in TD&A and origination services in 2012 while declines in foreclosure activity drove default services revenue lower.

Technology, data and analytics revenue totaled $189 million for the fourth quarter and $737 million for the year. The quarterly and annual growth rate was 8% and was fueled by positive performance in all revenue categories. Servicing and origination technologies posted particularly strong results. LPS’ industry-leading servicing technology, MSP, continued to gain market share through organic growth, new customer acquisitions and penetration of home equity market. MSP active loans increased 3% in 2012.

We continue to invest in TD&A as our growth platform for the future. TD&A revenue mix increased from 34% of total revenue in 2011 to 37% in 2012 and it represents nearly 30% of revenue in the fourth quarter. We expect this mix shift to continue as we capitalize on our technology leadership, scale and deep relationships.

Origination technology grew 19% year-over-year and benefited from strong origination volume and increased transactions on our loan origination systems and loan quality gateway offering. We will continue to invest in origination technology during 2013 and expect to see growth in market share in 2014. On a year-over-year basis, default technology revenue increased slightly in the fourth quarter to $35 million, a decrease sequentially due to a decline in foreclosure starts of about 15%.

EBITDA for TD&A was $75 million in the quarter reflecting a strong 39% margin. The continuing investment in origination technology and data and analytics will impact margin in the near term but we expect it to expand in 2014 and beyond as we realize improving operating leverage from revenue growth.

Moving on to transaction services, origination services revenue totaled $174 million in the quarter and $625 million for the full year, an increase of 15% and 20% respectively. The historically low interest rates along with HARP 2.0 have resulted in robust industry refinance volumes. Closings in the last two weeks of the year were stronger than normal. As lenders pushed to close orders out, this pulled about $6 million to $8 million of revenue into the fourth quarter that otherwise would have closed during January under normal timelines. I'll discuss this a bit more when I review guidance later on.

Strong title, escrow and flood services growth was partially offset by double-digit declines in appraisal revenue. The decline in appraisal revenue was driven by two primary factors. First, HARP 2.0 refinancings do not require appraisals, therefore a significant portion of the refinancing activity does not result in appraisal order. And second, as we mentioned previously, we continue to be disappointed managing this business by balancing both risk and margin. As a result, we walked away from some business that did not meet our standards.

Default services revenue was $138 million in the fourth quarter and $637 million for the full year 2012, down 26% and 19% respectively. As we guided in our third quarter call, revenue continued to be pressured by decline in foreclosure starts as the industry implements new regulations and requirements. Revenue was also impacted by our actions to improve risk reward profile of the business, including stepping away from marginal return contracts. We will continue to focus on managing margins and expanding our market share in default services base as near-term volume remains low and difficult to predict. While we do not expect any immediate impact, we are hopeful that the recent settlements pertaining to the bank consent orders will eventually begin to clear the backlog inventory of delinquent loans..

Transaction services EBITDA in the fourth quarter was $72 million representing a solid 23% margin. Origination services margin remained strong as we benefited from high refinancing volumes while default services margins were lower as we continued to reengineer our cost structure to reflect volumes that have declined more than 50% from their peak. While we cannot control industry transaction volumes, we can manage profitability. Our role is to rigorously manage our cost structure to sustain at 20% plus EBITDA margin over time with transaction services.

Corporate expenses for the fourth quarter were $12 million, about flat sequentially, and we expect corporate expenses to remain at this level throughout 2013. As I mentioned earlier, we expanded our total EBITDA margin in 2000 to 27% on total EBITDA $135 million.

Capital expenditures totaled $113 million in 2012. We continue to invest in technology and data-driven solutions that allow our clients to succeed in the new mortgage landscape. CapEx in the fourth quarter was $41 million which was elevated largely due to timing of certain purchases as total year capital expense was in line with our original guidance.

We expect capital expenditures in 2013 to be in the range of $110 million and $120 million. In the first half of 2013, we expect to complete our property records database expansion. Based on the project timeline in the sales cycle we expect this investment to provide revenue growth later in 2013 and beyond.

Moving on to the balance sheet, outstanding debt at year-end was $1.1 billion with an average interest rate at the end of quarter of 5.4%. In 2013 we expect the average interest rate to be approximately 5.2% as we recognize the benefits of our recent debt refinancing. Our liquidity of $634 million at year-end included cash of $236 million and capacity under our revolving credit facility of $398 million. Despite the fact that we will be paying out the majority of the legal settlements recently announced during the first quarter, we expect maintain liquidity of about $450 million to $500 million throughout the quarter.

Adjusted free cash flow was very strong at $92 million in the quarter and $345 million for the year. Since our spin-off in mid-2008, we’ve generated $2 billion of cash flow from operations. We’ve always put the highest priority on reinvesting this capital back into our business to maintain our technology leadership in the industry. Beyond that -- beyond the reinvestment in our business we returned approximately $570 million to shareholders through dividend and share repurchase and paid down debt of over $500 million to improve our financial strength and resiliency.

As Hugh mentioned, we announced this morning that the LPS Board of Directors approved a $100 million share repurchase authorization. This authorization will run through June 30, 2014. Once we’ve resolved remaining legal matters and begin to build our cash balances, we will once again consider share repurchase as part of our capital allocation strategy.

To reiterate, our capital allocation strategy is to continue to focus on making the investments necessary to maintain our leadership in delivering technology and data solutions for the mortgage industry. After that, we will continue to look to return capital to shareholders in one form or another as we have in the past.

Now I want to review our guidance for the first quarter. We expect TD&A revenue to be up slightly over fourth quarter as market share gains across all product offerings are expected to offset softness in desktop volumes. We expect the refinancing activity to remain strong in the first quarter. However as I discussed earlier we experienced acceleration in closings at the end of December which pulled about $6 million to $8 million of revenue into the fourth quarter that otherwise would have closed in the first quarter. Therefore we expect origination services to be down in the first quarter but on a normalized basis, about flat with fourth quarter.

Within default services we expect revenue to be down sequentially similar to what we experienced in the past few quarters. In total we expect revenue to be in a range between $460 million and $480 million and EPS from continuing operations to be about $0.63 to $0.67. We’re very pleased with the strong operating results, our strengthened financial position and the progress we've made to make LPS more focused and nimble as we face the challenges that exist in the market.

Now I’ll turn the call over to the operator, so we can take a few questions.

Question-and-Answer Session

Operator

(Operator Instructions) And we’ll go first to Darrin Peller with Barclays.

Darrin Peller - Barclays Capital

You know the first question, origination services again was very strong even sequentially. When reviewing the background and history in origination services, LPS would typically outperform the market. And then over the past year as you discussed, it was a bit slower than the market, probably because of pullbacks from some appraisal activities.

When we look ahead, I guess number one, can you give us a little bit more directional color on what assumptions you are thinking of in terms of originations? I know you said you think it will be better than some of the forecasts, but down on refis at least. Is it materially better than MBA, because MBA is only I think around $800 million, and refi is down -- would be down a lot from this year? We are coming into our Barclays estimate somewhere in the 1.2 range. So maybe how close are you to each of those numbers? And then on top of that, would you expect origination revenue to outpace the market again, the way it used to, or are there still appraisal or other activities that would prevent that from happening?

Tom Schilling

Darrin, I think as Hugh said, we are more bullish, I think that would probably put us closer to the our Barclays forecast than it would be a MBA forecast. Again I think it’s going to probably be down but it's still going to be at I think a very elevated level as there is a lot of loans, 9 million loans that have refi characteristics.

In terms of the performance versus the metric, I can say within our settlements – within the title and close element we have continued to outperform the market on that by a pretty good ratio. It is the appraisal given that appraisals are only being done on probably about 60% to 70% of the refi activity that's taking place, that will continue to lag now because HARP had a fairly – about the same impact in 2012 as it will 2013, I don’t think it will be as pronounced in 2013 but we will continue to see appraisal revenue lag the market metrics.

Hugh Harris

Yeah, just add to that, Darrin, the meetings we are having with our customers they are continuing to tell us their thinking around refis will outpace what the MBA has put out as well. They are seeing increased volume, I think in all of their shop.

Darrin Peller - Barclays Capital

I just want to follow up. On the discussion around capital, I appreciate the $100 million buyback announcement. I am assuming that at least it was somewhat related to a little more clarity on the legal front given all the AG settlements. Just help us understand, number one, it sounded, Tom, like you were sort of addressing the buyback as something that you are getting ready for, but not ready to necessarily use just yet. Am I right in that assumption?

And then the $100 million is a nice number, but obviously you generate well over $300 million of free cash flow. So I mean are you saying basically that you're waiting to see what happens more on the front of some of the legal issues, payout, the legal amount that you have to pay out now, and then you will maybe consider using the buyback more then? Or are you saying that you would add to it then? Can you just give us maybe a little more color there?

Tom Schilling

I think the $100 million is -- that was authorized in the announcement today, we will, as I mentioned – first, we obviously are going to have – we have a lot of liquidity, we had a lot of cash on the balance sheet as we exited the fourth quarter but we’re obviously in the process as we speak of paying out a lot of cash settlements because the of state AG and we’re hopeful that we will be settling some other in the near future. So my comments were meant to just clarify that we’re going to continue to make sure that we get those cash responsibilities behind us before you always see us in the market in a big way buying shares.

Hugh Harris

Yeah I would just add to that too, Darrin, one of the things that I want to make sure of is – as we continue to grow our origination technology and our investments in the space we may find opportunities for acquisitions and we want to be able to focus on that as well – it’s how we use the cash.

Darrin Peller - Barclays Capital

Just last question and then I will go back to the queue. On the consent order, obviously we have resolved quite a few of the issues. Where do we stand there? I mean, is it something, Hugh, that you could see happening in the year or something that should be earlier than that? Just give us a bit of a sense of timing in terms of your expectations.

Hugh Harris

Well, Todd Johnson and I meet with the groups every week, there is ongoing discussion with him on a daily basis. We are pleased at this point as to where we are in the process around the consent order. I told everyone last year it is a process that we have to get through, we think it's in our best interest at this point to finalize the document execution review and get this thing finished up. And our anticipation is or at least our hope is that we’d be finished by the end of the year. But that probably is really going to be dependent on the Fed and others as to the timing. But I'm very comfortable where we are in this process.

Operator

Our next question comes from Carter Malloy with Stephens Incorporated.

Carter Malloy - Stephens Inc.

On the last question actually, around the consent order and timing, given that it could be a long time but that you are as comfortable as you say you are, does a consent order still or a settlement of that still absolutely preclude a larger buyback? Or could we see you guys as we move forward through the year commit to a larger level of share repurchase?

Hugh Harris

Well, as far as the consent order is concerned, everything around that is built into our current legal reserve and our expectation around that. So depending on the timing of when it’s done I think we’re adequately covered in that regard, you can speak Tom –

Tom Schilling

I think as I alluded to it, the board will continue to address some whether or not we want a need to increase the share buyback later in the year and beyond but we’ve generally I think it’s a pattern in historically approved share repurchases in the increment of $100 million, and I think that’s what kept consistent with our past practice.

Carter Malloy - Stephens Inc.

And then, Tom, also I understand reluctance to answer this question, but I've got to ask it anyways. In terms of the outlook for the rest of the year and even going into 2014, should we have the transactional type businesses decelerating in terms of their growth rates? And maybe if you can't give an overall, we think we will shrink the top-line mid-single digits type of commentary, maybe something along the lines of, we think we can keep free cash above $300 million a year. Just any guidance you can give us around us better building a DCF to understand the outyears of the business would help a lot.

Tom Schilling

Yeah in terms of cash flow we don’t want to give too much guidance, as you say the reason we’re giving quarterly guidance is because it is very difficult to predict the volumes in this business. But right now our projections would put us at roughly that $300 million of cash flow again for 2013. But that’s contingent on as we set a fairly but we’re going to consider a strong refi market probably down slightly over 2012 levels but still very strong historically speaking and then continued probably choppiness so to speak in the default services space. But again we’re focused on driving margins in those businesses, so we will be very diligent in managing profitability regardless of what the volumes industry draws us.

Carter Malloy - Stephens Inc.

And maybe then on the margin side, since it’s probably more likely than not that the industry gives us some top-line pressure this year and you guys have a little more control over the margins. Is that something where we should expect you to sustain margins or actually improve them this year?

Tom Schilling

Look, it all depends on what the quarterly fluctuations on volume are. I would just stick to what we've been saying, which is that we’re committed to keeping those businesses at a minimum of 20% EBITDA margin over the long term. And I think we’re really focused as we said in the TD&A market and growing -- continuing to grow that where we’re getting the much more of the recurring revenue and the recurring EBITDA attributes which we find attractive.

Hugh Harris

Carter, I would just say to you as well. We have been meeting with a third-party mortgage experts over the last several months doing some work together. And as late as last week we asked them about their folks around forecasting quarter to quarter versus for the whole year and just to echo what you are saying, it is difficult to really predict where the refis are going as well as the default, because we’re all hopeful that with the settlement with the banks around their consent order that things will pick up. But I don’t think any of us can respond to that yet until we see a little more time to go on. The same with refis, if rates stay where they are, tick down a little bit, the refi volume will pick up. If rates go up it is a bit more challenging. So we appreciate your concern and how you find the model, but it’s just still difficult thing for us to predict at this point. One thing I will say is I'm very confident that we will get our share of the business in both categories regardless of where it goes.

Operator

And our next question comes from Julio Quinteros with Goldman Sachs.

Paul Thomas - Goldman Sachs

Hey guys, this is Paul Thomas for Julio. I guess in default services you’ve talked about exiting the lower margin contracts. Should we expect that to be an ongoing process now, or should we be looking at the change in revenue there being mostly volume related?

Tom Schilling

Yeah, the changes there are mostly volume related but managing those margins is -- that both from a cost structure standpoint as well as the contract standpoint are a continuing part of that business. So that doesn't end with what we’ve done in the past. So as we go forward we’ll continue to manage margins both from the revenue and the cost standpoint.

Paul Thomas - Goldman Sachs

And I know the default volumes you were just talking about, the difficulty in anticipating those. I guess there was the California Homeowners Bill of Rights that started at the beginning of the year. I guess is there any sense from your end on any change driven by that in terms of filings?

Tom Schilling

It’s hard to quantify what the total impact is going to be but we’re certainly seeing some reduction in volume already in the early part of the year. And it’s similar to others -- it looks to be on a pattern that’s similar to other states that have implemented similar regulations.

Operator

And we’ll go next to Glenn Greene with Oppenheimer.

Glenn Greene - Oppenheimer

I guess the first question, I want to drill down a little bit on the refi outlook as well, because it sounds like it’s very meaningfully changed from what you were talking about coming out of the third quarter. I think you were talking about down 30-ish percent at that time. If I just heard Tom's comment a minute ago, it sounds like slightly down in '13 and '12. And I'm kind of looking at some of the data from your largest issuers, two of the biggest issuers in the market as you know, and their application data really slowed in the fourth quarter Q to Q. So I've got a little bit of a disconnect and just looking for a little bit more color on why the refi outlook that you guys have seems much more optimistic than three months ago.

Tom Schilling

When we look at the applications, I think you’re absolutely right, we saw the slowing down, what we’re seeing now is just through January we’re certainly – as we kind of alluded to in what we expect for revenue in the first quarter, we’ve seen some of our closings come down because of the high amount of closings in the fourth quarter. But we are seeing open orders increased probably right now and January about 10% higher than they were back in the November and December timeframe. So what’s happening is most of the lenders are starting to fill -- build the backlog internally of what they are processing through. So there still is a – the level of activity that’s happening within the banks is still as strong as it was in the second half of the year.

But as you know Glenn, that it’s a timing issue of opens and closes and those metrics get thrown around little bit but we expect what we’re seeing now on the opening side will be more beneficial to the back end of the first quarter and in the second quarter from a revenue standpoint if those orders get closed.

Hugh Harris

I would just add to that, Glenn, one of things I think that caused things to slow down a little bit in December that we were seeing was the customers didn’t have the capacity to keep handling the volumes that they were seeing. So as Tom mentioned, trying to get everything closed at the end of December really distorted I think a little bit of the picture that we looked at earlier in the year. We are now seeing, from comments from some of the folks like Wells and others that volume seems to be taking the line back up.

Glenn Greene - Oppenheimer

Different direction. TD&A, obviously, increased a portion of your growth strategy and obviously a big part of your profitability. Maybe a little bit of color and direction on how you are thinking about TD&A growth in fiscal '13? And I was intrigued by your comments on accelerating investment, which implied to me that margins might come down somewhat in '13. Just wanted to get some direction on that and make sure I'm thinking about that right.

Tom Schilling

Yeah I think the first part of 2013, we’re going to probably see a little bit of additional compression on margins as we continue those investments. But in the back half of the year we’re expecting to start to gain traction and expansion of margins in TD&A and then in 2014 and beyond is where we really expect to see some acceleration in the growth rate as we know continue to gain traction with the loan quality gateway, the loan origination systems as Hugh mentioned which address the entire spectrum of all channels now as well as our data and analytics investments.

Glenn Greene - Oppenheimer

So is this like a mid-single-digit grower this year, potentially getting to high-single, low-double-digit growth in '14 directionally?

Tom Schilling

I will comment on the 2013, yeah I think we’re probably looking at mid-single-digit grower in 2013 and I will hold up any commentary on ’14 at this point.

Glenn Greene - Oppenheimer

And then real quickly, any reason Nevada wasn't part of the settlement?

Hugh Harris

Well, the matter with Nevada is still in litigation. But all the allegations in Nevada are the same claims that we just settled with the other AGs. So we are very hopeful to reach a similar resolution with Nevada. But if we’re not able to reach a settlement we’re very comfortable about our defences on these claims.

Operator

And we’ll go next to Greg Smith - Sterne, Agee.

Greg Smith - Agee Sterne, Agee & Leach

One of you mentioned in the beginning of the call that you still see the sale of servicing rights ultimately as an opportunity. And I guess the question is where is that confidence coming from, just because it seems like there also be risk with guys like Ocwen and Nationstar sort of running in-house competing systems I guess. So depending on where servicing goes, it seems like it could be a risk or an opportunity. Can you just help me better understand where the confidence comes from?

Hugh Harris

Yeah one of the things that is important to note, a lot of the sales have been coming out BofA. And Bank of America was not on our MSP system. So as those loans are sold, the opportunity for us to pick up more loans on MSP are pretty high. You’ve seen some of the buyers in there Walter, Nationstar and Ocwen and lot of the buyers. We’re doing other things with Nationstar at this point, we talked about the fact that we have just installed a desktop there. And quite honestly I think as Nationstar and Ocwen continue to grow their in-house systems and some of the things they are doing may be challenge. We want to stay in touch with them, we want to stay involved with them. So if they overcome an issue, we certainly have the scale and the ability to take our business on. So while we did lose some default revenue associate with that we've more than made up for that and the loans that we were picking up on a recurring revenue basis on MSP.

Greg Smith - Agee Sterne, Agee & Leach

And then you guys mentioned you have 20 loan origination implementations going on this year, I think. Is there any way to sort of size that as far as the revenue opportunity there tied to that?

Tom Schilling

Yeah, the customers that we are implementing right now are candidly of the smaller end, we do not have one of the large top five lenders in implementation on our loan origination systems right now but continuing to pursue those opportunities as well. So these are some smaller size deals and I would say probably all 20 of them at this point are probably somewhere in that, depending on volumes because a lot of these are transactionally priced somewhere in that $15 million to $20 million of annual revenue. But as we go upstream a little bit more in terms -- as you know this business is very concentrated, so to really move the needle you got to land one of the big guys and so we’re continuing to be in dialogue on our loan origination systems with all the top players.

Hugh Harris

Greg, I would just add to that. We talked several quarters ago and I implied that we wanted to build out our capabilities around the origination front to take advantage of the purchase market. I said then I thought we had a 12 to 18 months, or maybe 24 months window. We've made significant progress in the last seven months and are much farther along than what we’d be at this point.

So we now have an attractive offering to begin talking with the megas about (ph) and as we add our capabilities around correspondent and wholesale it gives us an opportunity to really step in with some of those guys. So we’ve made the investments, we’re continuing to make the investments, and my goal is to be totally prepared when the purchase market really takes off, which I don't really see yet until probably early 2014.

Greg Smith - Agee Sterne, Agee & Leach

And then just one last one. As we think about the 9 million loans that you guys mentioned as having the characteristics to be refinanced. I guess it just begs the question why -- in your view why have they not been refinanced? Is it just a capacity issue potentially, or are these individual homeowners just not aware of the HAMP program? Anything structural like that that could become a tipping point and cause an acceleration among that 9 million?

Tom Schilling

I think the bigger issue here is just the capacity within the banks to process the foreclosures. We did 6 to 7 million last year, and I think they're all pretty much tapped out in terms of the capacity on the throughput. So I think it’s more of an issue of just managing through those eligible loans. Each of the bank as they do their campaigns to go through their portfolio and do the refinancing generally have to cut off at a certain point because they only have so much capacity to get them processed. And that's why I think the banks as well as us in terms of working with them are more bullish, that -- assuming interest rate, as Hugh said, assuming the interest rates remain attractive that there’s going to continue to be a fairly robust refi market.

Operator

And next we have a follow-up from Darrin Peller with Barclays.

Darrin Peller - Barclays Capital

Just a quick one. There was obviously some -- and if I missed this, I'm sorry -- but there was some news obviously of BofA selling some loans to servicers, different servicers. Can you just give a little color on what your expectation is in terms of potential impact to your default business, maybe help quantify the amount of those loans that maybe you have serviced in the past in the default business and if there is a financial impact we should expect in 2013?

Tom Schilling

I think I was trying to cover on that a few minutes ago, as BofA announced some of the sales of their loans, it will have an impact on our default numbers as some of those loans are not going through Ocwen or someone that we are not connected with today. But I also covered up that we now have Nationstar which is one of the buyers on our desktop level and several of the buyers that are involved in this transaction are MSP clients and we ultimately believe that the recurring revenues associated with those loans moving from Bank of America which did not have an MSP relationship, those loans moving to other clients that have MSP relationship will more than offset any downside, which is on the default side.

Darrin Peller - Barclays Capital

Okay, but in terms of the actual size, the latter benefits are probably going to come after the initial impacts. Is that fair, Hugh?

Tom Schilling

I think the way we look at it Darrin is particularly on the profit side, so EBITDA that we see this right now based on how we think these loans are going to end up, as Hugh said with some of them eventually finding MSP and many on the desktop that it will be an EBITDA uplift within the next 12 months.

Hugh Harris

Yet, not all those loans that are moving are default loans. I mean all those loans are current.

Operator

And ladies and gentlemen, that does conclude our Q&A session. I will turn the call back to Ms. Murphy for any closing or final remarks.

Nancy Murphy

Thanks Dorris. Thank you everyone for joining us today.

Operator

And ladies and gentlemen that does conclude today's presentation. We thank you for your participation.

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