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LendingTree (TREE), Westlake Announce Indirect Lending Alliance

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LendingTree (TREE - Free Report) recently announced a partnership with Westlake Technology Holdings to launch an indirect auto lending platform. The move is part of the company’s efforts toward enabling its consumers to shop and distinguish pre-qualified indirect auto loan rates on its site, LendingTree.com.

Westlake Financial provides a full array of competitive auto financing solutions to assist a plentitude of consumers with their coveted vehicles. Notably, LendingTree has helped millions of consumers shop for auto loans with direct lenders for more than a decade.

Relying on its integration with DealerTrack and RouteOne, LendingTree is now in a position to capitalize on the company’s first indirect lending partnership with Westlake by serving the bank’s huge customer base with instant finance solutions that are wholly transactable at the dealership.

LendingTree’s general manager of Auto Loans, Mike Funderburk stated,"Empowering our consumers with high quality transactable loan offers that can save them significant time at the dealership will be a meaningful shift in the consumer experience that will benefit everyone involved."

Ian Anderson, group president of Westlake Technology Holdings commented,"We are excited to establish this partnership with Lending Tree as they have proven to be a trusted leader in the online automotive marketplace.’’ He also spoke about the importance of providing customers with a streamlined online car buying process and showed confidence that this partnership will help both companies to impact the industry positively, while refining their customers’ vehicle shopping experience.

Notably, this is not the first time that LendingTree is using the expertise of another firm to accommodate its consumer base better. In order to simplify services such as business lending, business advertising, client education and mortgage origination, the bank had in the past announced several deals with firms such as Student Loan Hero, ValuePenguin, MagnifyMoney, etc.

LendingTree’s inorganic growth initiatives look impressive. While elevated expenses due to advertising are likely to erode the company’s bottom line, its commitment to expand non-mortgage related product offerings bodes well for the long term.

LendingTree’s shares have gained 13.3% in six months, underperforming 24.9% growth of the industry that it belongs to.

Currently, LendingTree carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

A few better-ranked stocks from the same space are PennyMac Financial Services, Inc. (PFSI - Free Report) , Walker & Dunlop, Inc. (WD - Free Report) and Ameriprise Financial, Inc. (AMP - Free Report) , each flaunting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

PennyMac Financial Services, Inc. witnessed upward earnings estimate revision for the current year over the past 60 days. Its share price has appreciated 24.6% in six months’ time.

Walker & Dunlop, Inc.’s Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2021 earnings has also been revised marginally upward in the past 60 days. The stock has surged 87.2% in the past six months.

Ameriprise Financial, Inc. has witnessed upward earnings estimate revision of 3.2% for the ongoing year over the past 30 days. Shares of the company have appreciated 42.3% in six months’ time.

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