Seeking Alpha
  • Monday, December 22, 2014

  • 3:14 PM
    • "ETFs are attractive to investors in part because of their tax efficient structure, and Schwab (NYSE:SCHW) ETFs have delivered on this expectation for the past five years, with no distributed capital gains since the first Schwab ETFs launched in 2009," says SVP John Sturiale, taking a victory lap.
    • Schwab's announcement comes days after ProShares said it expects none of its 130 ETFs to distribute capital gains, and Invesco's (NYSE:IVZ) PowerShares said nine of its 116 ETFs will distribute.
    • Seven large ETF providers have now declared, and just 74 of 712 funds will issue capital gains distributions.
    • For Schwab, it has 21 ETFs with $25.9B in AUM.
    | Comment!
  • 1:22 PM
    • Monogram (MORE +0.1%) will accept for purchase 2.42M shares - roughly 1.4% of the float - tendered at a price of $9.25 per share for a total cost of about $22.4M.
    • The tender - made in conjunction with the stock's NYSE listing one month ago - had been for up to $100M worth of company stock.
    • Source: Press Release
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  • 12:45 PM
    • The settlement with the DFS will leave Ocwen (OCN -29.1%) saddled with a number of changes that in the end, will create a more compliant (dare we say complacent) company, but cripple profitability for some time,” says the team at Sterne Agee. “In addition, we do not know if the agreement will violate any of the terms of the global settlement or leave the company open to additional scrutiny.”
    • Could it be a boon for competitors like Nationstar (NSM -9%)? The company is well-positioned for new servicing bids, says Sterne Agee, but activity at Solutionstar could be curtailed. "This is something we need to explore."
    • Previously: Ocwen's tumble drags down servicing peers (Dec. 22, 2014)
    • Previously: Ocwen tumbles as Erbey exits (Dec. 22, 2014)
  • 12:10 PM
    • A sign of its financial strength, Ambac (AMBC -0.5%) pays $1.137B out of the Segregated Account (set up when it emerged from bankruptcy), comprised of $1.055B in claims and $82M of interest.
    • Had today's payments been made on Sept. 30, the total of all deferred amounts outstanding as of then would have been about $2.96B.
    • Source: Press Release
    • Previously: Ambac flies on amended Wisconsin plan (April 22, 2014)
    | Comment!
  • 10:52 AM
    • Nationstar Mortgage (NSM -2%) and Walter Investment (WAC -4.2%) managed to eke out gains early, but now have been unable to resist the shellacking in Ocwen Financial (-22%) in wake of that company's settlement with the NY Department of Financial Services.
    • We don't want to get too breathless, but the settlement more or less makes Ocwen state-run, and one wonders if regulators will be sated or if more is in store for Nationstar and Walter.
    • Previously: Ocwen tumbles as Erbey exits (Dec. 22, 2014)
    • Previously: More Erbey resignations in wake of Ocwen settlement (Dec. 22, 2014)
    • Altisource Portfolio Solutions (-18.4%), Home Loan Servicing (-5.4%), Altisource Asset Management (-20%), Altisource Resdiential (-5.6%)
    | 1 Comment
  • 10:37 AM
    • Concluding its 9.4% ownership stake in HCR ManorCare is impaired, HCP, Inc. (HCP +0.5%) will record a non-cash charge of about $36M or $0.08 per share in Q4, bringing the carrying value of the investment down to $39M.
    • Updated full-year FFO is lowered to $2.95-$3.01 per share and expected EPS is cut as well, but adjusted FFO and FAD per share remain at $2.98-$3.04 and $2.52-$2.58, respectively.
    • Source: SEC Form 8-K
    | 1 Comment
  • 10:04 AM
    • "We believe that selling these 16 properties provides a better risk adjusted return to our shareholders than had we re-leased them," says LTC Properties (LTC +1.1%) CEO Wendy Simpson.
    • The assisted-living properties are part of the 37-property portfolio co-leased to Enlivant and an affiliate of Extendicare under leases expiring this month. They were sold for $26.5M, or about $43K per unit. LTC expects to record a Q4 gain of $3.8M on the sale.
    • In addition to the sale, 13 of the 37-property portfolio will be re-leased to Senior Lifestyle Corporation under a 15-year master lease, and seven will be re-leased to Veritas Care under a 10-year master lease.
    • Source: Press Release
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  • 9:49 AM
    • More than a dozen buyout firms - Blackstone (NYSE:BX), Apollo Global (NYSE:APO), and Carlyle Group (NASDAQ:CG) among them - have lost a combined $11.7B in 27 publicly traded oil producers since June, according to Bloomberg.
    • Apollo - the largest investor in EP Energy, for instance - has $5B invested in energy debt and equity. Carlyle has 10% of its $203B in assets in the industry, and Blackstone is the 2nd-largest shareholder in Kosmos Energy, and backs drilling projects off Ghana's coast and the Gulf of Mexico.
    • "It could be worse from here," said Greg Beard, who oversees Apollo's energy investments, at his firm's investor day on Dec. 11. "When the market has been in excess like it is now, you see price declines. With a change in the stance of OPEC from one of price protection to the protecting of market share, we're in excess for at least the next 12 months."
    • Previously: Blackstone's Schwarzman licking his chops over energy (Dec. 12, 2014)
    | Comment!
  • 9:30 AM
    • He's stepping down as both board member and chairman of Altisource Asset Management (NYSEMKT:AAMC), effective Jan. 16, with CEO Ashish Pandey appointed to replace.
    • It's the same as Alitsource Portfolio Solutions (NASDAQ:ASPS), and he'll be replaced by board member Timo Vatto.
    • At Altisource Residential (NYSE:RESI), Erbey will be replaced by board member David Reiner.
    • All the resignations, in addition to those at Ocwen Financial and Home Loan Servicing, are part of a consent order entered into with the NY Department of Financial Services.
    • Previously: Ocwen tumbles as Erbey exits (Dec. 22, 2014)
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  • 9:17 AM
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  • 9:15 AM
    • Rosneft (OTC:RNFTF) says Morgan Stanley's (NYSE:MS) sale of its global oil merchanting business to Rosneft has been terminated due to likely regulatory refusal.
    • Rosneft says the companies will continue to work together in other areas, while MS says it will seek other buyers for the unit.
    • The oil merchanting unit includes MS's physical oil inventory and related purchase, sale and supply agreements, as well as oil terminal storage agreements and a 49% stake in a company which manages ~100 oil and chemical tankers.
  • 9:12 AM
    • “You’re basically taking away from shareholders the ability to run their company,” says former SEC official Ira Lee Sorkin, speaking about Ocwen's (NYSE:OCN) extraordinary settlement with Ben Lawsky's NY Department of FInancial Services. “You’re telling the company in effect that the regulator is now running the company.”
    • Not only has the maestro behind the Ocwen family - Bill Erbey - been pushed out, but Ocwen is paying a $150M fine, appointing two Lawsky-approved board members, and allowing the state to appoint an outside monitor with oversight over just about all of the company's operations.
    • A bull might say one can now buy Ocwen without regulatory risk. A cynic might say Ocwen has just become a government experiment on how it would like a servicing operation to be run.
    • OCN -7.5%, ASPS -1.4% premarket. Also part of the Ocwen web: AAMC, RESI, HLSS
    • SEC Form 8-K
    • Previously: Ocwen executive chairman to resign (Dec. 22, 2014)
  • 8:52 AM
    • Gladstone investment (NASDAQ:GAIN) made a $19.6M investment alongside B+T Group's management to recapitalize B+T Group. Affiliate Gladstone Capital (NASDAQ:GLAD) also invested $8.4M in the deal.
    • Headquartered in Tulsa and founded in 2000, B+T is a full-service provider of structural engineering, construction, and technical services to the wireless tower industry for tower upgrades and modifications.
    • Source: Press Release
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  • 8:31 AM
    • The $23M acquisition loan is for Ballpark, a student housing complex in Austin, Texas. Prior to the loan, Walker & Dunlop (NYSE:WD) had provided bridge financing to the borrower, allowing a purchase on the courthouse steps.
    • The permanent financing is 10-year paper from Freddie Mac.
    • Source: Press Release
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  • 8:27 AM
    • Analyst Mark Palmer downgrades Synchrony Financial (NYSE:SYF) to Neutral after the stock hits his $30 price target, up about 30% from late July's IPO.
    | Comment!
  • 7:40 AM
    • French producers say current wheat futures provider Euronext has not fixed issues which came to light in this year's poor harvest quality, and they're encouraging CME Group to move forward with an alternative contract.
    • CME has indicated it could launch its new option as soon as September.
    • "Euronext and CME have each proposed solutions that make sense," says InVivo's head of trading. "I think there will be some announcements very soon."
    | Comment!
  • 7:31 AM
    • New Senior (NYSE:SNR) expects to invest about $135M of cash on hand for the 17-property portfolio from Hawthorn Retirement, and fund the remainder of the purchase with debt.
    • The portfolio is 100% private-pay and contains 2,082 unit in 10 states with an average occupancy rate of 92%. It's expected to generate a NOI yield of about 6.3%.
    • The purchase allows the scale-up of the company to continue, and New Senior's portfolio will now be up to 117 properties and more than 14.5K beds.
    • In a separate deal, New Senior announces the purchase of a 66-bed memory care community for $15.7M at an NOI yield of 7.8%.
    • investor presentation
    • Source: Press Release
    | 1 Comment
  • 7:24 AM
    • Walter Schroeder, DBRS' founder and controllig shareholder will remain an important investor in the company, and he says Canada will remain the core of DBRS' operations, but the P-E firms' investment will be a boon to expansion efforts in the U.S. and Europe.
    • Terms of Carlyle's (NASDAQ:CG) investment were not disclosed.
    • Source: Press Release
    | Comment!
  • 7:19 AM
    • Main Street Capital (NYSE:MAIN) has led a $45M investment funding the purchase of Garlock Rubber Technologies. Main Street's portion of the deal was $29.8M, and included $16.7M of first lien senior secured debt and $13.1M in equity for a controlling stake.
    • Source: Press Release
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  • 2:44 AM
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