Apr. 24, 2014, 10:36 AM
- A check of the mortgage REITs (REM +0.1%) finds not a lot going on stock price-wise following the first Q1 earnings reports from the sector this week (CYS Investments and Hatteras). As expected, book values grew and prepayments remained at a low level.
- Perhaps unexpected was a good deal of caution from CYS management about mortgage prices - right now, it's finding better value in Treasurys, and awaits a pullback in MBS prices before boosting those holdings. "The mortgage market is a little kid playing with matches," said CEO Kevin Grant on the earnings call (transcript). "We just don't know when everybody's fingers are going to get burnt. The traders that play in this market, they know this and they know they are playing with matches."
- Amid the low supply of MBS out there, Hatteras (HTS +0.1%) management on its call (transcript) says it now has 10 originators delivering wholesale product to the company covering more than half of monthly cash flow needs. Up next is expansion into jumbo ARMs.
- Other sector ETFs: MORT, MORL
- Individual names: Annaly (NLY +0.6%), American Capital (AGNC +0.7%), (MTGE +0.2%), Armour (ARR +0.1%), Two Harbors (TWO -0.6%), Invesco (IVR -0.1%), Capstead (CMO +0.3%), MFA Financial (MFA +0.1%), Western Asset (WMC +0.5%).
Apr. 10, 2014, 11:49 AM
- Lit up bright green as the market's momentum names again break down and lead the averages - and Treasury yields - lower are the mortgage REITs (REM +0.5%).
- The 10-year yield is off six basis points to 2.63% and Eurodollar futures in the last few sessions have rallied strongly, pricing out at least one rate hike between now and the end of 2016.
- CYS Investments (CYS +1.7%), Invesco Mortgage (IVR +1.3%), Hatteras Financial (HTS +1.3%), MFA Financial (MFA +1.4%), Two Harbors (TWO +0.8%), American Capital (AGNC +0.6%), (MTGE +0.5%).
- One day after making a number of additions to its management team - including a couple of hires from the New York Fed - Annaly (NLY +0.5%) is also posting gains.
- Related ETFs: MORT, MORL
Apr. 9, 2014, 2:43 PM
- Mixed earlier, a lot more green creeps into the mortgage REIT sector (REM +0.6%) after the FOMC minutes suggest members aren't in as quite of a rush as thought to hike rates. The 10-year note yield is back to flat on the session at 2.68% (was as high as 2.72% pre-release), and the short end is doing even better (steeper curve) with the Dec. 2015 Eurodollar contract higher by six basis points.
- Leading the move higher are American Capital Agency (AGNC +1.1%), Chimera Investment (CIM +1.1%), and Hatteras Financial (HTS +1%). Also among those ahead are Annaly (NLY +0.7%), Anworth (ANH +0.6%), Ellington (EFC +1.3%), (EARN +0.1%), and Javelin (JMI +0.6%).
- Related ETFs: MORT, MORL
Apr. 4, 2014, 3:15 PM
- What's working today? With the exception of Western Asset Mortgage which had a massive secondary offering, the mREIT sector is nearly universally higher as money rushes out of the previously perkier areas of the market.
- Not hurting is a seven basis point decline in the 10-year Treasury yield to 2.73%.
- Up the most are the two largest and also investor favorites Annaly (NLY +1.4%) and American Capital Agency (AGNC +1.3%). Others: CYS Investments (CYS +1%), American Capital Mortgage (MTGE +0.5%), MFA Financial (MFA +0.5%), Dynex (DX +0.9%), Armour (ARR +0.5%).
- Related ETFs: REM, MORT, MORL
Mar. 24, 2014, 9:43 AM
- It's not just Annaly. Compass Point is ringing the register on a wide swath of the mortgage REIT industry today. American Capital Agency (AGNC -1.6%), Anworth Mortgage (ANH -1.3%), Armour Residential (ARR -1.2%), CYS Investments (CYS -1%), Hatteras (HTS -1.5%), and Western Asset Mortgage (WMC -1.4%) are all cut to Hold from Buy.
- All have been big gainers this year, likely narrowing their discounts to book value and - in at least one case - maybe climbing above it.
- ETFs: REM, MORT, MORL
Mar. 20, 2014, 4:25 PM| 19 Comments
Mar. 19, 2014, 3:13 PM
- A check of sectors following the FOMC statement and updated projections suggesting a quickened pace of rate hikes in the future finds the banks and life insurers notably moving higher. Both groups have struggled earning a spread amid ZIRP and are positively levered to higher rates.
- Lenders: Bank of America (BAC +1%), Citigroup (C +1%), JPMorgan (JPM), Regions (RF +1.7%), KeyCorp (KEY +0.9%), SunTrust (STI +0.7%).
- Life insurers: MetLife (MET +1%), Prudential (PRU +0.7%), Lincoln National (LNC +1%).
- Related ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, VFH, IYF, KIE, SEF, IYG, IAK, FXO, PFI, KBWB, FNCL, FINU, RWW, RYF, PSCF, KBWP, KBWI, FINZ, KBE, KRE
- Not necessarily positively levered to higher rates are the mortgage REITs (REM -1.6%): Annaly (NLY -1.8%), American Capital (AGNC -1.7%), (MTGE -1.9%), Armour (ARR -1.3%), Two Harbors (TWO -2%) CYS Investments (CYS -3.3%), Capstead (CMO -1.3%), MFA (MFA -1.8%).
- Related ETFs: MORT, MORL
Mar. 13, 2014, 3:16 PM
- Ports in a storm on a tough day for the major averages (S&P 500 -1.4%), the mREIT sector is mostly in the green, with sector giants Annaly (NLY +1.1%) and American Capital (AGNC +1.1%) leading the way.
- The 10-year Treasury yield is off eight basis points to 2.65%.
- Earlier: Dividend hikes at mREITs? Capstead (CMO +0.9%) and Ellington Residential (EARN +1.9%) boost payouts by 10%.
- Others: Armour (ARR +0.9), CYS Investments (CYS +0.9%), Dynex (DX +0.8%).
Mar. 7, 2014, 12:46 PM
- The mortgage REITs are maybe the poorest performing sector amid a big move higher in interest rates, and formerly bullish Deutsche Bank ringing the register on New York Mortgage Trust, CYS Investments, and American Capital Mortgage after nice runs for all have pulled them close to (or above in NYMT's case) book value.
- There's also an earnings miss this morning from one of the last of the players to report Q4, Western Asset Mortgage.
- Annaly (NLY -2.1%), American Capital Agency (AGNC -2.3%), Armour (ARR -1.4%), Two Harbors (TWO -1.8%), Invesco (IVR -2.7%), Capstead (CMO -1.2%), MFA Financial (MFA -2%), Apollo Residential (AMTG -1.7%)
Feb. 26, 2014, 10:20 AM
- In sharp contrast to the views at American Capital (AGNC +0.5%), Annaly (NLY +3.2%) CEO Wellington Denehan-Norris - speaking on the earnings call - says it makes more sense to lever up and directly buy mortgage-related assets than repurchasing shares or buying the stock of other mREITs.
- Why rely on the management of other companies, says Norris, reminding of the 1998-99 period - another time when mREITs traded well below book value. After the collapse in Russia, it was found one "darling" in the mortgage REIT industry (no longer in business today) owned the debt of that country.
- Satisfied with hedges currently in place, Annaly doesn't plan to add any more as it buys more MBS. After taking down leverage to 5:1 over the past year, the company is looking to bring it back towards 7:1.
- On the growing commercial side of the business, Annaly is in talks with an originator of commercial mortgages for direct access to its assets.
- Noting the recent sluggish economic stats, particularly as they relate to housing, management doesn't feel like the Fed will soon be in any position to tighten policy.
- Presentation slides
- Previous earnings coverage
- Related ETFs: REM, MORT, MORL
Feb. 26, 2014, 9:58 AM
- A check of the mREIT sector (REM +0.8%) following better-than-expected Q4 results from Annaly finds about all the individual names in the green.
- Like many earlier reporters, Annaly experienced a pleasing drop in prepayments during Q4, leading to a widening net interest margin.
- American Capital Agency (AGNC +0.8%), Armour Residential (ARR +0.9%), CYS Investments (CYS +0.6%), Hatteras Financial (HTS +0.9%), Dynex (DX +1.1%)
- ETFs: MORT, MORL
- Annaly's earnings call begins shortly. The stock is up 3.5% in early action.
Feb. 15, 2014, 9:00 AM
- "Get used to it," is what American Capital Agency (AGNC) CIO Gary Kain hears from many about the significant discount to book value his stock (and the entire agency mREIT sector) sell for. If things like banks and closed-end funds can trade at discounts, why not agency REITs? It's all about collateral, responds Kain. The fixed agency MBS market is the world's 2nd most liquid, totally transparent, and offers negligible bid/ask spreads. There is complete certainty with respect to book value, not always true with other sectors selling at discounts.
- Presentation transcript here, presentation slides here
- Off the purchase of a 7.5% stake (8.5% if MTGE is included) in Hatteras (HTS) - the only of AGNC's mREIT purchases made public so far - Kain said he wanted to get exposure to hybrid ARMs, but they're not easy to buy in size. A sizable American Capital buy could have moved the market by half a point or more. The better way to get a decent stake was by buying Hatteras at around a 20% discount to book.
- Clearly feeling his oats after a tough 2013 (he notes book value fell just 5.5% while the stock declined 14.3%), a confident Kain says buyers of agency mREITs are not only purchasing a portfolio of MBS selling for significant discounts to where they trade in the open market, but those MBS - having already priced in a stronger economy and a Fed QE exit - have room for sizable upside.
- Related ETFs: REM, MORL, MORT
Feb. 12, 2014, 10:58 AM
- Perhaps taking a dig at American Capital's (AGNC +0.3%), (MTGE +1.4%) Gary Kain, Hatteras (HTS +2.3%) management - speaking on the earnings call - says it's not buying up any shares of other mortgage REITs because it would then lose control of the hedging.
- Kain (actually the two mREITs of which he is CIO), of course, is now an owner of Hatteras, disclosing last week an 8.5% stake in the company amid his decision to buy up the common stock of agency REITs while they're trading at significant discounts to book value.
- Earlier: Interest margins on the rise at Hatteras as prepayments slide.
Feb. 10, 2014, 12:21 PM
- American Capital Agency (AGNC +0.2%) late last week disclosed a 7.5% stake in Hatteras (HTS +1%), part of AGNC CIO Kain's plan of buying up shares in agency mREITs selling at substantial discounts to book value.
- American Capital Mortgage (MTGE +0.2%) appears to own a 1% stake, putting American Capital's investment in total at 8.5% of the company.
- We're still waiting for Hatteras' Q4 results, but book value per share was $21.31 at the end of Q3. Kain likely started buying up HTS in Q4 when the stock - following a big dive post Q3 earnings - was meandering around the $16.50 level.
- At $19.02 at the moment, the shares still trade at a 10.7% discount to September 30 book. They're up 16% YTD.
Feb. 6, 2014, 5:12 PM
- As he's doing with American Capital Agency (AGNC -0.6%), CIO Gary Kain is supplementing share repurchases at American Capital Mortgage (MTGE) with outright buys of the common stock of agency mortgage REITs.
- MTGE purchased $39M of other mREIT stock in Q4, a number lifted to $54M by the end of January. Buybacks of MTGE stock in Q$ were about 1.5M shares, or roughly 3% of the float. For all 2013, the company bought back about 13% of the outstanding stock.
- Kain on the earnings call: "Given the sizable price to book discounts in the mortgage REIT space, we believed it made sense to sell some agency MBS and buy similar MBS assets in REIT equity form at around 80% of book value. At that discount, it is equivalent to buying agency MBS 2.5 points lower in price than where you can sell them ... To us, the choice was pretty straight-forward."
- Having had their fill of questioning Kain on the stock purchases during the AGNC call on Tuesday, analysts today spent most of their time asking about the mortgage servicer acquisition - Residential Credit Solutions. While the yield on the interest-only component of MSRs is just 5-10%, the return is higher, says Kain, because owning MSRs - which act as natural interest rate hedges - allows MTGE to pull off other hedges which cost the company money.
- CC transcript
- Presentation slides
Feb. 5, 2014, 2:58 PM
- American Capital's (AGNC +1.7%) book value has fallen about as far as it should, its net interest margin has "troughed,” and its book “remains well insulated against higher rates," J.P. Morgan analysts say in upgrading shares to Overweight and raising its price target to $22 from $20.
- From peak book value of $32.49 at Q3 2012, JPM predicted a 32% decline in BV by Q4 2014; as of Q4 2013, book value had declined 26%, so the firm thinks most book value erosion is finished.
- The firm raises its Q4 2014 book value estimate to $22.21 from $20.92 based on the YTD rally in MBS prices, and lifts its 2014 dividend forecast to $2.60 from $2.20, amounting to a total annualized return of ~15.3%.
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