Fourth-quarter increases in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage origination volume helped Walker Dunlop reach a new quarterly high in revenue of $215 million.
Overall, the commercial real estate finance company raised its loan origination volume 22% year-over-year, totaling over $8.34 billion in the closing quarter of 2018, a year-over-year increase of $1.49 billion. Including the $1.01 billion volume from investment sales, the company had its largest quarter ever by transaction volume, totaling $9.35 billion.
“Walker Dunlop closed out 2018 with an exceptional fourth quarter, finishing the year with top-line growth and strong profitability,” Willy Walker, chairman and CEO, said in press release. “The consistent execution of our team for our clients, combined with the strength of our brand, contributed to record total transaction volume of $28 billion and record revenue of $725 million.”
The stout numbers were boosted by Walker Dunlop’s expansion made last year. They acquired commercial mortgage banker iCap Realty Advisors in November with the goal of increasing annual originations by at least one-third. If the fourth quarter was any indication, it was a good buy.
“During 2018, we continued adding professionals across the country, including a great group of bankers from iCap Realty Advisors, three investment sales teams in strategic markets, and the fund management team at JCR Capital. The investments we made in the platform last year help move us closer to achieving Vision 2020, which centers around the goal of generating annual revenue of $1 billion by growing loan originations, multifamily property sales, servicing, and our fund management business,” Walker said.
The company earned $1.44 per diluted share in the fourth quarter, down from the $3.06 the year before. However, the fourth-quarter 2017 earnings included the one-time benefit from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which came out to $1.80 per share.