Thomas H. Lee-Backed Mortgage Venture Climbs on KBW’s Buy Call

  • KBW raises rating on Black Knight, lifts price target
  • Black Knight has jumped almost 70% since IPO last year

Black Knight Financial Services Inc., the mortgage-technology company backed by private-equity firm Thomas H. Lee Partners, surged in New York trading after being upgraded to outperform at Keefe Bruyette & Woods.

Black Knight jumped 4.3 percent to $41.42 at 10:51 a.m., the biggest intraday increase since June. The Jacksonville, Florida-based company has rallied 69 percent since selling shares for $24.50 in an initial public offering in May of last year.

The rating was increased from market perform at KBW, which lifted its 12-month price target to $46 a share from $38. Black Knight offers a mortgage-servicing platform and counts many of the largest lenders among its customers, including Bank of America Corp. after a deal in June.

The servicing platform “has no meaningful competition and still has significant growth opportunities,” KBW’s Chas Tyson said in a note to clients Sunday. “Additional servicing products like claims management and loss mitigation should also supplement growth.”

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