Shares of Irvine-based New Century Financial Corp. closed more than 4% higher on Monday after the subprime mortgage lender reported higher than expected growth in loan production for 2005.
New Century posted 2005 loan production of $56.1 billion, beating its earlier guidance of $50 billion to $55 billion. The 2005 total was up 33% from 2004.
For December, New Century reported $5.3 billion in loans, a 23% rise from a year earlier. The company did $5.1 billion in November loans and $5.3 billion in October.
Shares of New Century, which lends to borrowers with imperfect credit, closed up 4.5% with a market value of $2.2 billion.
The growth was due to stepped up sales and marketing efforts that drove more business directly from borrowers. New Century works with brokers and borrowers to make loans.
December’s total included $800 million in loans from newly acquired operations, including RBC Mortgage Co. Without acquisitions, December would have been up 5% from a year earlier.
Last month, New Century announced it was paying $10 million plus future payments for Access Lending Corp., a funder of home loans generated by brokers. That deal should close in the first quarter.