Wall Street celebrates Rocket Companies' big 2020 profit

The Detroit News

Rocket Companies wasn’t alone in celebrating last year’s enormous profits. Wall Street liked what it saw too.

Shares of the mortgage lender surged 9.8% Friday in trading on the New York Stock Exchange, closing at $21.85 a share.

In this image provided by the NYSE, traders use social distancing as specialist Peter Giacchi, right, works behind a protective barrier during the Rocket Companies IPO, on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Thursday Aug. 6, 2020.

A day earlier, Rocket reported a 277% increase in quarterly profit. The results punctuated a record-setting year as the home-loan specialist rode the U.S. housing rally. With a ten-fold increase in net income last year to $9.4 billion, Rocket declared a special dividend of $1.11 per share, according to a statement on Thursday.

The company also posted adjusted revenue that beat estimates. 

The Detroit-based holding company, which includes mortgage lending giant Rocket Mortgage as well as other real estate and e-commerce businesses, reported  total net revenue of more than $15.7 billion for the year, and net income of more than $2.8 billion on net revenue of nearly $4.7 billion in the fourth quarter.

Rocket — which went public in August — posted record results amid a banner year for the U.S. housing market. In just one measure of the market's strength, the National Association of Realtors reported last month that 2020 existing-home sales in the U.S. reached their highest levels since 2006, as many homebuyers took advantage of historically low interest rates and stock market gains, and sought out properties that suited their pandemic-era needs.