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Walker & Dunlop 4Q adj. profit misses Street

BETHESDA, Md. (AP) -- Walker & Dunlop's fourth-quarter net income climbed 5 percent, getting a boost from the acquisition of CWCapital.

The adjusted earnings performance missed analysts' estimates, however, and shares dropped more than 7 percent in midday trading.

Walker & Dunlop, based in Bethesda, Md., provides commercial real estate financial services for owners and developers of commercial real estate.

For the period ended Dec. 31, the company earned $11.5 million, or 34 cents per share. That compares with earnings of $11 million, or 50 cents per share, a year earlier.

Taking out severance costs and other items, earnings were 54 cents per share.

Analysts expected higher earnings of 62 cents per share, according to a FactSet survey.

Revenue more than doubled to $105.5 million from $47.6 million. Wall Street forecast revenue of $104.6 million.

Loan originations more than doubled to $2.9 billion, while gains from mortgage banking activities also more than doubled to $79.4 million. Loan origination fees jumped to $38.9 million from $16 million.

Chairman and CEO Willy Walker said in a statement that the CWCapital acquisition doubled the size of the company and gave a significant boost to loan originations, revenue and adjusted earnings per share.

Full-year net income declined 3 percent to $33.8 million, or $1.31 per share, from $34.9 million, or $1.60 per share, in the prior year. Adjusted earnings were $1.87 per share. Annual revenue increased 67 percent to $256.8 million from $152.4 million.

On Monday the company announced that it hired Stephen Theobald as executive vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer. He replaces Debbie Wilson, who is retiring.

Shares of Walker & Dunlop Inc. fell $1.56 to $19.26. The stock has traded in a 52-week range of $10.85 to $21.76.