Big data's big potential: Irvine, California-based CoreLogic has come a long way since being spun off as a public company in 2010.

Author:Hewitt, Janet Reilley
Position:PROFILE - Interview

It's July 29 at the St. Regis Monarch Beach Hotel, perched high above the California coastline at Dana Point. A woman in a long dress is pushing a large golden harp covered in a red velvet drape on a dolly along the garden pathways of the hotel. A large stone gazebo of Olympic proportions is being draped in light-blue silk, and the morning fog off the ocean is starting to lift. [paragraph] Bridesmaids in lavender are scurrying along under the supervision of an all-business wedding-planner type. Teams of makeup artists carrying industrial-size makeup cases are moving in packs down the hotel hallways. [paragraph] Photographers get their first glimpse of the view and the perfectly manicured grounds from large windows off the back of the hotel lobby. "That's a great shot," one of them says before he's even gone outside. Great decks come off of the back of the hotel to showcase the terraced grounds down to the edge of the ocean. [paragraph] The sounds of fountains offer a calming soundtrack for the preparations. [paragraph] It's the official wedding day for Ms. Cherie Fang and Mr. Michael Chien.

The hotel carries the announcement on a small easel off the main lobby.

My first thought is how much will all of this cost? But my second thought is welcome to the world of global capital, where a growing share of the world's capital is in the hands of successful Asian financiers--and their fortunate family members.

But back to the occasion that brought me to this oceanside paradise in the first place--CoreLogic's RiskSummit 2013. The Irvine, California-based property information and analytics company was spun off from First American in June 2010, and it brings together every year the sophisticated users of its vast data resources.

They come from Wall Street, banking, government, real es-tate--and many industries not yet formally named--to hear about how they can use CoreLogic's data to measure, predict and contain risk. Sort of like big data meets big capital.

And in a way, this wedding could be the perfect symbol for the summit.

After all, when you think about it, it doesn't get much riskier than getting married. (I'm quite sure the numbers back me up on that.)

While the viability of marriages is not a data segment CoreLogic has ventured into, what if CoreLogic could come up with analytics to predict the odds that a marriage of two particular people would last? Would there be a market for it? Do we even want big data going there? Probably not.

And while CoreLogic is not in this particular area of predictive risk assessment, it is in so many others that it is hard to list them all. If the information is kept in a public-records database--and it's property-related--the company seems to have a handle on it.

Say, for example, you wanted to know the odds that this newly married couple's first home would be hit by an earthquake or a flood or a wildfire. That's a risk CoreLogic does have covered in its current predictive product set. Property hazard risk is definitely in its wheelhouse.

So to get a feel for how this company has grown, and all the various product lines it's developed since its spinoff in 2010, I sat down with CoreLogic President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Anand Nallathambi and some of the company's other key executives at the summit. (Full disclosure: The RiskSummit is closed to press, but Mortgage Banking was allowed to attend to interview CoreLogic executives and cover former Senator Chris Dodd's remarks.)

Since the spinoff

CoreLogic has been a public company for more than three years now. Its report cards are visible to investors and the rest of the outside world. Quarterly earnings are closely followed and the company's share price is a very visible sign of corporate success.

What's less visible is all the work that goes into building a cohesive new standalone corporation from the many parts that were spun off and patched together following years of acquisitions and opportunistic growth.

So let's start with the visible report cards and work back to the back-office, company-building venture.

CoreLogic's share price (NYSE: CLGX) when the stock was first issued on June 1, 2010, closed at $18.76.

Midday on Oct. 15, 2013--as this was being written--the company's stock was trading at $27.54.

The stock had reached a 52-week share-price high of $29.50 on Oct. 25, 2012. The shares registered a 52-week low of $21.40 on June 24, 2013.

But these share-price highs and lows could see some changes as the company is due to report its third-quarter earnings on Oct. 23--after this article is at the printer. And it looks like the last time it reached its most recent 52-week price high was right after it announced its 2012 third-quarter earnings. So stay tuned on that front.

As for progress being made on integrating the company's many moving parts into a streamlined, top-performing, modern corporation, CEO Nallathambi explained what needed to be done.

In 2010, right after the spinoff, he says, the company took a look at CoreLogic's portfolio mix of companies. The goal was to isolate the ventures that were preventing the company from having a consistent pattern of earnings and profitability.

Public companies are rewarded when they can establish a sustained path of growth and profitability, Nallathambi says.

CoreLogic also wanted to get rid of businesses that...

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