Online lending giant Quicken Loans on Tuesday filed paperwork for a proposed initial public offering (IPO), revealing that it hopes to land on the New York Stock Exchange using the name Rocket Companies — a reference to some of its best-known products.
The IPO documents run more than 300 pages long but do not say how many shares the company might offer, nor how much those shares might cost. The documents also do not specify when the IPO might actually take place. However, the paperwork, which was filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, is nevertheless a significant initial step toward going public.
Billionaire Dan Gilbert founded Detroit-based Quicken Loans in 1985. In 2015, the company announced the Rocket Mortgage online platform, choosing the name as a nod to the speed with which it aimed to approve loans. According to the new IPO documents, by 2019 the company had 73.8 million visitors to its website and originated $145 billion in mortgages, giving it 6.7 percent of the market.
By the first quarter of 2020, the company claims to have nabbed 9.2 percent market share. Its net income for the first quarter of 2020 was $97.7 million, the documents add.
Overall, the filing paints a picture of relatively steady growth since the firm’s inception.
Today, Rocket Mortgage is just one of seven different companies operating under the Rocket Companies umbrella. Others include businesses focused on personal loans, car sales and consumer real estate.
“The total addressable market for our ecosystem of businesses, including markets for mortgage originations in U.S. and Canada, personal loans, home sales, used auto sales, and real estate advertising amounts to approximately $5.5 trillion,” the IPO documents reveal.
The company also notes in the documents that it had $2.6 billion in “cash and cash equivalents and $1.22 billion in undrawn lines of credit” as of May 31.
The Rocket brand has also apparently become so vital to Quicken’s business that it will represent the firm on the public market: In addition to filing for an IPO as Rocket Companies, the company also hopes to secure the ticker symbol RKT.
For those watching the market closely during the coronavirus pandemic, the filing also notes that mortgage forbearance has “has not yet had a material impact on our cash flows,” though it could potentially have an impact in the future.
Additionally, the filing reveals that the company has worked to move to a remote workforce during the pandemic, and it credits that transition to helping it achieve “record mortgage origination volumes in March, April, May and June 2020.”
Speculation about Quicken Loans going public has been growing since early June, when CNBC first reported that the company had confidentially filed an IPO prospectus. And despite the current turmoil in the economy generally, some observers have suggested this is an ideal moment for the company to go public.
“They are in an enviable position because of their position in the market. It’s a strong company, profitable company and they have the opportunity to raise a lot of money right now,” David Kudla, CEO of Mainstay Capital Management LLC, told the Detroit News.
Though Quicken has been around for decades, and Rocket Mortgage for years, the company in many ways epitomizes a more recent trend in which real estate sector businesses slowly expand into new verticals as they build an all-in-one platform. Quicken, after all, began in the lending business but today is as close to a one-stop-shop as many other real estate firms that started with a focus on different points in the transaction.
The documents also suggest that the company plans to continue expanding its platform and influence after its IPO; they state that the “U.S. residential mortgage market remains highly fragmented” but that Quicken’s “growth potential is significant.”
Either way though, the company struck an optimistic tone it its filing, with CEO Jay Farner saying in an included statement, “We have a proven record of leading the industry and being prepared no matter where the market takes us.”
Update: This post was updated after publication with additional information from the company’s IPO filing, and with additional references to past coverage of Quicken Loans.
Correction: This post initially misstated some lending numbers related to Rocket businesses.