MMIS publishes mortgage tables in newspapers and also runs the Interest.com website, a consumer site that connects borrowers and lenders. FastFind is a web-based lead generator, also in the booming mortgage/refinancing market.
The MMIS acquisition expands BankRate’s network of advertising vehicles, serving up more page views and providing space for banner ads. This expands Bankrate’s presence in their core market. Adding FastFind should provide some new opportunities to close the loop between borrowers and lenders, letting Bankrate increase the amount of revenue it generates from its top accounts.
Bankrate has done an impressive job the past five years. Starting as a small newsletter, The Bank Rate Monitor, Bankrate went a bit haywire during the dot.com days, changing its name to ILife and launching various consumer finance portals, including ILife.com, Consejero.com and Garzarelli.com. Elisabeth DeMarse was hired as CEO and brought focus and discipline to the company, shedding unproductive assets and moving the stock price from around a quarter to the high teens in a fairly short period.
In 2004, Tom Evans, former GeoCities head, was named CEO and has continued the growth. With the new acquisitions, BankRate is forecasting revenues of $78-79 million this year and net income of $1.23 per share.
With mortgage rates staying on the low side, and consumers continuing to refinance, Bankrate has thrived in recent years. They have diversified their revenue streams somewhat, to reduce their dependency on the mortgage refinancing market, but it will be interesting to watch how they perform if rates rise and home building slows.