Shares in fast-growing mortgage industry software developer Ellie Mae hit an all-time high today, pushing the Pleasanton, California-based company’s market capitalization over the $1 billion mark.
Bloomberg News has reported that the convergence of technology and housing is creating opportunities for mergers and acquisitions, and that Ellie Mae might be a ripe takeover target. Analysts told Bloomberg last year that potential buyers like IBM and Accenture Plc might be willing to pay $35 to $38 a share for the company.
Shares in Ellie Mae hit a 52-week high of $37 today, up 64 percent from last November. At that price, Ellie Mae is worth more than realtor.com operator Move Inc., set to be acquired by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp for $950 million.
Ellie Mae says its Encompass mortgage management platform helps banks, credit unions and mortgage lenders improve compliance, loan quality and efficiency.
This summer, Ellie Mae rolled out a consumer direct solution for Encompass that it said can guide homebuyers through a step-by-step application process in less than 15 minutes.
Encompass Consumer Direct lets borrowers comparison shop for mortgages by rates and terms, order and pay for credit reports, apply for a loan, receive disclosures and status updates from lenders, and upload and electronically sign documents.
After acquiring customer relationship and marketing platform MortgageCEO this year, Ellie Mae said it would strengthen integration of MortgageCEO into Encompass, helping lenders get referrals from real estate agents and builders.
Ellie Mae announced in August that it was acquiring AllRegs, the exclusive electronic publisher of loan product guidelines for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, for $30 million.