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Stewart Information (STC) Boosts Digital Presence With Buyout

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Stewart Information Services Corporation (STC - Free Report) has acquired Cloudvirga in its efforts to consolidate its presence in the mortgage finance space. This Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) global real estate services company noted that technology is changing the industry and thus it is intensifying focus on better serving its customers through innovation and connectivity.

Cloudvirga, founded in 2016, is a leading fintech company powering digital mortgages. It powers lenders, originators and brokers as well as automates back office activities. Several of the largest lenders in the country rely on Cloudvirga as their digital front-end solution.

Addition of Cloudvirga will help the acquirer ramp up its digital offerings and ensure a seamless end-to-end experience in real estate transactions. Per Stewart CEO Fred Eppinger, "Combined with our newly acquired capabilities such as RON, a notary network and valuation services, Cloudvirga’s platform will accelerate our digital offerings in all markets, complement our existing capabilities and enhance our ability to provide customers with end-to-end mortgage services and solutions."

Cloudvirga stands to benefit from the acquirer’s expertise in streamlining and ramping up the origination process.

The company pursues strategic acquisitions to ramp up growth profile. Last September, Stewart Information acquired 57 title offices in the states of Arizona, Colorado and Nevada from ET Investments. The acquisition is in sync with the acquirer’s strategy to improve scale and competitive position in priority markets where it has been underrepresented. Its acquisition of United States Appraisals in June 2020 enhances the technology platform.

Stewart Information Services boasts a strong balance sheet with $590 million over regulatory requirements and $220 million available on its recently upsized line of credit supporting growth initiatives.

Shares of Stewart Information Services have rallied 22.2% year to date, outperforming the industry's increase of 20.6%. Its solid Title insurance business and a sturdy financial position will help shares retain the momentum.

Given insurance industry’s adequate capital level, players are pursuing strategic mergers and acquisitions. Recently, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (AJG - Free Report) agreed to buy certain reinsurance, specialty and retail brokerage operations of Willis Towers Watson plc (WLTW - Free Report) for $3.57 billion. Marsh & McLennan Agency LLC, the middle market agency arm of Marsh & McLennan Companies (MMC - Free Report) , acquired PayneWest Insurance, which is one of the largest independent agencies in the United States.

You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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