A snapshot of CoreLogic's recent literal and figurative stock market experience, along with other Wall Street developments, highlights the risks and rewards of two recent industry trends: the increased role of data and analytics providers and a growing willingness to consider equities strategies.
Momentum in the data and analytics area has been building for some time, but it only just hit its first benchmark. The American Securitization Forum recently started a data and analytics subforum for the first time and put one of the subforum's vendor co-chairs on its board.
Similarly CoreLogic is not a stock one can get in on the ground floor of at this point but it still shows growth potential.
CoreLogic is a spin-off by the First American Corp. that made its debut on the NYSE on June 2. Analysts' consensus at the time of this writing was that CoreLogic is a "hold," with its upward stock price growth trend and trading volume have been clearly more solid than those of its closest competitors.
While only a few industry data and analytics firms have been publicly traded, the field in general has been getting crowded and companies need to distinguish themselves when it comes to both their information and their executive lineup.
When CoreLogic came to New York recently to ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange it brought some of its heavy hitters, including former Freddie Mac executive vice president and chief financial officer Anthony Piszel as its CFO and George Livermore, group executive of data and analytics. Responsible for ringing the bell and wielding the gavel in order to close the NYSE on June 11 were, respectively, Parker S. Kennedy, chairman and chief executive officer of the First American Corp., and Anand K. Nallathambi, CoreLogic's CEO. Van Skilling, an outside director who attended the closing bell ringing, is known for having split off TRW's information business and forming credit reporting giant Experian.
Demonstrating the depth of its data, CoreLogic brought to the closing bell ceremony what Jerry Hoerauf, executive vice president of corporate development, said was the first recorded documentation of the NYSE building. This included an 1863 "plat map" of the exchange building and a handwritten description of it that executives said served as the equivalent of what is filed in more standardized, official form in recorders' offices today.
Skilling, who today is president of private investment firm Skilling Enterprises, said the documents came into the company's hands back in the 1980s with its acquisition of New York Abstract. The documents were originally used for fire department purposes, he said.
While this makes the NYSE's past more tangible, its future is less so given the Dow's recent ups and downs. These have generally been within 200-300 points at most outside of the May 6 "flash crash," something the NYSE on June 11 was working to ensure doesn't recur. It began testing new circuit breakers with a batch of companies that day.
Equities investors hope this helps the stock market show more grace under pressure-something First American and CoreLogic got a chance to display that same day after being warned by exchange officials that some have actually been booed for not ringing the bell properly. When asked about whether there's any trick to it, Nallathambi said one simply has to execute the bell ringing firmly for the right period of time. As far as wielding the gavel, Kennedy said there is only the possible fragility of the block of wood one hits to consider. "They said it was 100 years old," he said. "I did not want to be the guy that broke that."