The evolving mortgage crisis could threaten the fast pace of online spending from mortgage lender Countrywide Financial, argues Paul R. La Monica. Netratings estimates that the company spent $34.8 million on internet advertising in July alone, and since the company has announced plans to scale back its business, it has reason cut back in this area. Countrywide stock has been getting crushed all week on concerns about the health of its business. Of course, Countrywide is far from the only mortgage-related firm to advertise heavily across the net.
Still, if there is trouble, nobody is letting on just yet. Yesterday, financial information site Bankrate.com (Nasdaq:RATE) put out a release affirming the company’s existing guidance in a move to quell investor worries.It too has seen its stock fall sharply in recent weeks. The company specifically addressed the advertising question, saying “Given the volatility in the financial markets, we want to affirm our financial guidance to update investors on our progress…Our business remains strong; traffic and advertiser demand for both our rate table and display business is tracking as expected.”