Shares of Ellie Mae Inc. dropped 3.2% in premarket trade Thursday, after Wedbush turned bearish on the provider of software services for the mortgage finance industry, citing signs that that 2018 will be a disappointing year for mortgage originations. Analyst Jason Weaver cut his rating to underperform from neutral and slashed his stock price target to $69, which is 27% below Wednesday’s closing price of $94, from $90. Weaver said he was skeptical about Ellie Mae’s ability to achieve its long-term growth and profitability targets given a maturing market of mortgage loan originations. “Rising rates and lower originator profitability are increasingly choking off the refinance market in 2018 and historically tight inventory levels are acting as a ceiling on purchase mortgage demand,” Weaver wrote in a note to clients. The stock has gained 5.2% year to date through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has lost 1.2%.