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UWM CEO Talks Reddit-Fueled Stock Volatility, Russell Inclusion

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UWM CEO Talks Reddit-Fueled Stock Volatility, Russell Inclusion

In light of the volatility impacting stocks in the mortgage space like Rocket Companies Inc (NYSE: RKT) and UWM Holdings Corporation (NYSE: UWMC), fueled in large part by commentaries on online forums like Reddit's WallStreetBets, Benzinga spoke with Mat Ishbia, CEO at United Wholesale Mortgage.

What Happened: Shares of Rocket and UWM skyrocketed earlier this week after day traders targeted the stocks due to high short-interest and the sector's lack of favorability. Ishbia said the volatility is interesting to watch but has little impact on the company itself.

"My job is to run the company as successfully, profitably, and positively for our shareholders, team members, and customers," Ishbia told Benzinga. "The volatility is surprising to see, but the way I look at it is the stock price will follow our success, as we continue to do great things.”

Ishbia did add, however, that the volatility may be a net positive for investors.

"Maybe some of them will take time to learn our story, and that will help them save money on their mortgage in the future," he said. "Other than that, I don’t think it has any implications besides being interesting to watch."

In Other News: It was announced UWM’s stock would join the Russell 1000 and 3000 indexes on March 21. Shares of the stock rose on the news since dealers would look to purchase shares of the company to supply to tracking index funds.

Ishbia said the increased access is great for UWM stakeholders.

"I think it creates more demand for our stock," he said. "Obviously, we're a dividend company, and that's what they're looking for -- companies that are strong, and well-capitalized. It also helps the notoriety of our company, and gets our message out there, more."

Benzinga asked whether UWM would opportunistically look to offer more shares due to the elevated stock price, and Ishbia said the company would not: "I"m much more of a long-term holder of the business than a seller."

See Also: United Wholesale Mortgage Changes Business Practices

Going Forward: Broad market equity indexes were thrashed this week as equity traders looked to price in the risk of a rapid move up in rates, as a result of rising debt and inflation, which negatively impacts bond values.

In the face of rising rates, Benzinga asked Ishbia for his outlook on the market, and plans for UWM in the months ahead.

“Rates have generally moved up the last couple of months. Everyone expects that trend to continue over the next two to three years,” he said.

Price Action: UWM's stock trades around $8.14 a share at publication time. Shares broke the $12 level earlier this week.

Rocket's stock traded north of $40 earlier this week and trades around $24.28 at publication time.

UWM President and CEO Mat Ishbia. Photo courtesy UWM.

 

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