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  • The King Of Bonds Is Shorting Bonds [View instapost]
    Actually, he got his hat handed to him (so far), because he got caught selling vol in stupidly irresponsible amounts...

    Gross is a gambler, and has lost his touch...
    May 25, 2015. 08:46 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Spreads And Durations And Swaps... Oh, My! Digging Deeper Into Western Asset Mortgage [View article]
    Agree and look forward to the NLY article. NLY's mgmt profited horribly at shareholder's expense. Compensation packages for Welli and the former brains of the operation were ridiculous. And don't get me started on the B team at CIM. How much shareholder value did those nudniks vaporize...
    May 11, 2015. 04:06 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Spreads And Durations And Swaps... Oh, My! Digging Deeper Into Western Asset Mortgage [View article]
    Agree in principle that mreit mgmts have on the whole behaved scandalously (and not just those two guys in the strip mall in Veiro Beach who stunk even when the going was good...)--selling shares at the exact top of the market. But I'm not sure an actual takeover by an activist is either desirable or feasible. This isn't like running a widget factory, and you don't want some loudmouth Nelson Peltz type trying to make intricate calculations on hedging, swap books, and repo. The curve sucks for anyone running the portfolio. And for most of these guys, the break up fees on the mgmt agreements are medieval--just too costly to try to strip the assets away from the mgrs.

    I'm glad that at least WMC's mgmt seems to have handled the market nicely so far. And the good thing is that this WMC vehicle is pretty marginal to Western Assets main business, so the mgmt seems less conflicted than most. For most of them, this isn't their day job.
    May 11, 2015. 08:56 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 18%+ Dividend Western Asset Mortgage Capital Is Benefiting From The Grexit Fear - Buy [View article]
    "WMC, which was already heavily hedged, increased the total notional value of its hedges from $5.605B as of December 31, 2014, (excluding forward starting swaps) to $8.255B as of March 31, 2015 (excluding forward starting swaps)."

    These don't seem to match the numbers provided in the swap book charts immediately above them. May we assume that the difference is that your numbers (but not the charts) exclude the forward starting swaps?

    But more importantly, shouldn't one regard "Fixed Pay Rate" (i.e. receive floating rates, I assume, which are intended as hedges to rising rates)" and "Variable Pay Rate" (i.e. receive fixed, I assume, which are bets that rates will stay below the reference rate) as off-setting positions rather than as cumulative amounts? The point is that they're simultaneously long and short different parts of the curve, no?
    May 7, 2015. 04:09 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • 18%+ Dividend Western Asset Mortgage Capital Is Benefiting From The Grexit Fear - Buy [View article]
    Not following your numbers vs. their charts. And is NET or gross the appropriate way to reckon up how fixed pay/ variable receive and variable pay/ fixed receive books of swaps interact with each other...
    May 7, 2015. 03:39 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Western Asset Mortgage: Best-Of-Breed [View article]
    Great company, NIMs are expanding, still a major holding for me, but it's rich at these prices.

    The better trade would be to start gradually moving into MTGE and AGNC, which have opened up substantial discounts to NAV--more than 20% and well on the way to 25% if this keeps up. The price discrepancy can't be justified over the long haul, and don't forget that WMC is taking more risks (credit and leverage) to earn those juicy dividend yields.
    May 7, 2015. 08:16 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fishing In The Oil Patch [View instapost]
    Sorry, my friend. But the good news is, you've got at least one new bidder in the market today.
    May 6, 2015. 11:15 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • American Capital Agency: The Sky Is Not Falling [View article]
    Echoing user27...

    Nice qtr by WMC, but I think AGNC is actually worth a 2nd look at these current prices. They can earn 20% ROE just by buying back their own shares, and they should begin doing so aggressively.

    Buy when mgmt is buying, and sell when they're selling--like all those ridiculous top of the market SPOs AGNC did in 2012-2013.
    May 6, 2015. 09:46 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Spreads And Durations And Swaps... Oh, My! Digging Deeper Into Western Asset Mortgage [View article]
    Decent Q, with the fundamentals looking bright for the near term. Still, it's rich compared to the rest of the field...

    With the drubbing that AGNC has gotten lately, and the sheer disgust/ capitulation that's been reflected on SA, I'm thinking about nibbling a little on AGNC. They're close to opening up a 25% discount to NAV. At these prices, the best allocation of capital by mgmt is to begin buying back shares with both fists.
    May 6, 2015. 09:39 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Western Asset Mortgage Capital Corporation Announces First Quarter 2015 Results [View article]
    Nicely done--about as well as could be expected in a volatile qtr. And NIM *growing* rather than shrinking as they move deeper into credit!
    May 6, 2015. 09:34 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Whither Onshore Drilling Activity Goest, Basic Energy Services Will Follow [View article]
    Agree 100%. I stressed their #'s back in December and came away with the strong impression that they could withstand a 25% hit to revenues for a couple of years without being in any danger of defaulting on their interest expenses. Bought a good sized position in their unsecured notes, which have bounced back nicely. They're going to tread water for a while, but the results looked decent, other than a big bring-forward in their receivables for the Q that had the effect of bolstering the cash flow #'s.

    No opinion on fair value/ current price of the equity.
    May 3, 2015. 01:37 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fishing In The Oil Patch [View instapost]
    Let's just say I've done a couple of those kinds of analyses.

    But the results are only as good as the numbers going in. Disclosed PV-10s of even the front-line operators are hopelessly confected. This E&P space is a cesspool. I much prefer the financial and real estate sectors for that very reason (Go OCN and GNW, BTW!)

    Will check it out in the next couple of weeks. I'm behind on a round of earnings releases I need to process first...
    May 1, 2015. 12:41 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fishing In The Oil Patch [View instapost]
    Thanks much for the tip on ESCRP. Will try to take a look and share any feedback, though I really scratch my head on these E&Ps. It's not clear you can trust the book numbers for recovery values. And looking at the game as chess rather than checkers, even if the prefs look like they're in the money now, there's usually no structural protection to them layering more debt in front of the prefs.

    Hey, sorry, didn't mean to be rooting against you in my call for $5!
    May 1, 2015. 11:00 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fishing In The Oil Patch [View instapost]
    Haha, I got lucky once--probably the smart thing would be to quit while I'm ahead rather than get involved again! Aesop's dog and all that... But at some point the prefs may become cheap enough that it's worth a VERY small bet.

    Yes, absolutely, if they declare a divvy these things are off to the races. I just don't see how they can afford to do so right now. Selling hedges to raise cash isn't an encouraging sign. But it does tend to confirm the hunch we talked about before: KeyBank wants out of this deal, bad. Maybe there's enough speculative hot money floating around out there that they can place some senior secured convertibles to take the uncooperative lenders out.
    May 1, 2015. 09:26 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fishing In The Oil Patch [View instapost]
    Hope I'm wrong, but none of these announcements bodes well for the lower echelons of the capital structure.... When they start talking about "stake-holders," watch your wallets.

    If you were an institutional investor eye-balling a PP investment in MILL, what kind of "Credit-enhancing capital" infusion would get you excited?

    a) some kind of senior secured convertible notes with a big kicker that would raise enough cash to get either KeyBank or the Apollo loansharks out of the picture? This would actually be a good move, assuming they could find someone who'd be willing to accept a lower interest rate in exchange for all the potential upside. The downside of this kind of deal for the preferreds is that anyone willing to get involved here can pretty much call the shots, and if the amount of the notes ends up being bigger than the current term debt outstanding (and given these guys' prodigious cash burn) the recovery on the prefs gets pushed farther down or even totally out of the money.

    b) "if the answer isn't yes, then it's probably no": I take this to mean no divvy declaration on the prefs. You see this in the price action on the prefs. Now would be the right time to tender some kind of exchange offer (say, a non-cash offer at .40 on the $) to convert these prefs into new equity. Do this in conjunction with the reverse split needed to get back into compliance. This could be voluntary to see if they can get any takers, or as part of an actual/ threatened pre-pack Ch. 11.

    c) on the Wells notice. Big surprise: looks like they overstated the value of their acquisitions. Didn't we already know this when they wrote all these back down? Is there a potential legal remedy here by the current regime against past management?

    In sum, this is still a big cluster-bump, but at $4 or 5 on the prefs, if they get there, I might take another punt...
    Apr 30, 2015. 03:37 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment