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. 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. 10, 2014, 4:04 PM
Mar. 7, 2014, 7:11 AM
- Keep an eye on the hot mortgage REIT sector today as Deutsche cashes in its chips on three bullish calls.
- New York Mortgage Trust's (NYMT) cut to Hold is a valuation call, with analyst Stephen Laws acknowledging solid Q4 results and good prospects going forward, but noting the stock price is already near his raised price target of $7.75 (from $7). NYMT is the rare mREIT at the moment trading above book value.
- Neither CYS Investments (CYS), nor American Capital Mortgage (MTGE) are at book, but both have moved a lot closer to it this year, and Laws cuts both to Hold, believing dividends, not capital appreciation will drive any returns from current levels. "Given investor concerns of higher interest rates, we believe it is unlikely that shares of agency MBS managers will trade at or above book value in 2014."
- Deutsche, he says, currently forecasts the 10-year Treasury yield to hit 4% before year-end, likely keeping a lid on price-to-book ratios for the agency players.
- Related ETFs: MORT, MORL, REM
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. 11, 2014, 1:14 PM
- "If [the] current pace of tapering continues, by fall, for the first time in 30 years, there will no longer be a trillion-dollar buyer in the mortgage securities market," says CYS Investments (CYS +0.4%) CEO Kevin Grant on the earnings call (transcript). Thirty years? Grant reminds that before QE, Fannie and Freddie were the $1T bid, with portfolios topping $3T at their peak. Prior to the GSEs, it was the savings & loans.
- Grant notes spreads were a lot wider before the government got involved and he's prepping CYS to be ready for that opportunity.
- Book value tumbled 8.5% to $9.24 in Q4, but Grant - in response to a question from JMP's Steve Delaney - more or less says book has already rebounded back to its September 30 level.
- Of the big move higher in bond prices this year: "I’m not surprised at all ... I mean how many times have we seen – sell the rumor by the fact ... this is why we’re so cautious about rebalancing the portfolio in reaction to the hype that we all have when we watch CNBC."
- Previous earnings coverage
Feb. 10, 2014, 4:13 PM
- Net asset value per share of $9.24 after $0.32 dividend is off a big 8.5% from the end of Q3, and compares to today's close of $8.38, putting the stock at a 9.3% discount to Dec. 31 book.
- Leverage of 6.97:1 compares to 6.45 at end of Q3. Net interest spread of 1.89% is up a big 23 basis points from Q3. CPR of 5.7% compares to 9.8% in Q3. CPR in January of 5.9%.
- 5.2M shares repurchased during Q4 at average price of $8.28 each. For full year, company bought back 13.6M shares at average price of $8.49.
- "The higher rate environment has created an improved investing environment, which should allow the company to generate an attractive dividend while operating at the low end of its leverage range, which should reduce volatility in the company's net asset value."
- Press release, Q4 results
- CC tomorrow at 9 ET.
- CYS +0.7% AH
Feb. 10, 2014, 4:04 PM
Feb. 10, 2014, 12:10 AM
Feb. 9, 2014, 5:35 PM
Feb. 4, 2014, 11:51 AM
- Addressing an analyst cadre somewhat uncomfortable with American Capital's (AGNC +1.6%) new policy of purchasing the common stock of its agency mREIT competitors (Wells' Joel Houck: Do you know their hedging strategies? What happens when one blows up?), CIO Gary Kain says the discounts to asset value are so great as to mitigate much of the risk.
- Kain does acknowledge some risks though, and reminds that the purchase program is but a small slice of AGNC's overall portfolio ($400M of others' stock bought so far vs. nearly $600M of AGNC buybacks just in Q4).
- For now, there won't be any disclosure of which names American Capital is buying - a position also not sitting well with those on the call. Should the positions get large enough though, regulatory filings might be required.
- Kain also reminds that AGNC isn't just boosting risk with these purchases - instead it's selling MBS at 100 cents on the dollar to buy them back (via other mREITs) at somewhere in the area of 80 cents on the dollar.
- Most of the mREIT sector (REM +0.7%) is ahead again today - Armour (ARR +0.9%), CYS (CYS +2.8%), Hatteras (HTS +1.6%), American Capital Mortgage (MTGE +0.6%), PennyMac (PMT +1.2%) - but Annaly (NLY -0.6%) lags, perhaps as investors feel it was far more conservatively positioned going into 2014 than AGNC was.
- Earnings call is still ongoing
- Previous coverage
Feb. 3, 2014, 10:42 AM
- The poor ISM number and resultant drop in interest rates provides more manna to the rebounding mREITs (REM), with Annaly (NLY +1.7%), Western Asset (WMC +1.9%), CYS (CYS +0.9%), Capstead (CMO +1%), and Ellington (EFC +0.8%), (EARN +0.2%) among those leading the sector this morning.
- Capstead was the first of the mREITs to report Q4 results, but American Capital (AGNC +0.9%), (MTGE -0.1%) reports on Wednesday, and investors will want to see if Gary Kain and team - so worried about higher rates - hedged away any gains to be made from their fast decline thus far this year.
- Related ETFs: MORT, MORL
Jan. 30, 2014, 10:20 AM
- You're seeing a lot of demand in the assets we hold, says Capstead Mortgage (CMO +1.5%) management on the conference call after reporting a blowout Q4. In a steepening yield curve environment - the short-end anchored while long rates move higher - Capstead is benefitting from tightening spreads in the 5/1 ARMs it mostly holds.
- Mr. Market seems to have fleshed this out, and Capstead was already trading for right around book value (reported at $12.47 as of Dec. 31) vs. the double-digit discounts for long-end players like Annaly (NLY +0.2%), American Capital (AGNC -0.3%), Armour (ARR), and CYS Investments (CYS -0.5%).
- Another in the adjustable-rate arena is Hatteras Financial (HTS +1.5%).
- Related ETFs: REM, MORT, MORL
Jan. 23, 2014, 2:23 PM
- One sector nearly fully in the green on a big down day for the broad averages is the mortgage REITs (REM +0.6%) as investors - worried about further declines in book value - take comfort from a big 10 basis point dip in the 10-year Treasury yield to 2.76% (off from 3% at the start of the year).
- Leading are CYS Investments (CYS +3.1%), Annaly (NLY +1.7%), American Capital (AGNC +1.4%), (MTGE +1.5%), Invesco (IVR +1.8%), Anworth (ANH +1.3%), and AG Mortgage Investment (MITT +0.7%). The sector elephants - Annaly and American Capital Agency - are head 6% and 8% YTD, respectively.
- With the big drop in yields at the long end, how long will it be before investors stop fretting about declines in book value and shift to concern over narrowing spreads!
- Related ETFs: MORT, MORL
Jan. 13, 2014, 3:08 PM
- What might pull the mREIT sector out of its brutal slump? A slide in the broad equity market for one. An out of nowhere 1%-plus dive in the major averages is being felt in the bond market, where the 10-year yield is off another 3 basis points to 2.83%, and mortgage REITs (REM +0.4%) - whose book values have been savaged by the big jump in interest rates since last spring - are responding.
- Annaly (NLY +1.2%), American Capital (AGNC +1.4%), (MTGE +1.1%), Two Harbors (TWO +1.4%), CYS (CYS +1.9%), Western Asset (WMC +1.5%), AG Mortgage (MITT +1.1%), and Ellington Residential (EARN +0.8%) are leading. This just in: Sector giants American Capital Agency and Annaly are ahead 6% and 4% YTD, respectively.
- The iShares 20+ Year Treasury Bond ETF (TLT +0.6%) is up 3.2% for the year.
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