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Posts Tagged ‘Mortgage REITs’

mREIT Update – High Yield and a Special Dividend

Investors have long been attracted to the high yields of mortgage REITs, which currently averages around 13 percent, nearly 7 times the average dividend yield of the S&P 500. The Fed’s announcement has caused drops in spreads, bond yields and homeowner’s borrowing costs, and as a result company’s earnings and dividends have been under pressure.

This will have a big impact on reinvestment for mREITs with low prepay protection.  November’s prepayment report showed a decline in overall prepayment speeds, but lower coupon speeds increased in the month. We continue to favor the mortgage REITs with prepay protected portfolios as they will have more stable cash flows from lower reinvestment needs. AGNC, AMTG, ARR, IVR, MTGE, and TWO have the lowest and most stable prepays in the sector.

Prepayment speeds on 30-year conventional speeds decreased 8% in November from the prior month, which was generally in line with expectations. Speeds on 3.5s rebounded potentially attributable to accelerated closing ahead of g-fee increases, rate relocks post September QE3 rally and closing delays due to Super Storm Sandy. The increase in 15-year speeds was in line with expectations.

The mortgage REITs are currently at a 7% discount to estimated fourth quarter book value and yielding 13.2%. Agency-only mortgage REITs are trading at a 7% discount to the hybrid peers.

While we continue to prefer the flexibility that hybrids have to invest across the entire mortgage universe, we see the Agency-only REITs offering better relative value today given the valuation discount. Trading at a discount to book value AGNC is our top pick; CYS and ARR also provide attractive relative value given current discounts to book.

The Board of Directors of CYS Investments, Inc. (CYS) declared a quarterly dividend of $0.40 per share of common stock for the fourth quarter of 2012, as well as a special dividend of $0.52 per share of common stock. The Company is making the special dividend to distribute the remaining REIT taxable income earned during 2012. These dividends will be paid on December 28, 2012 to common stock stockholders of record on December 21, 2012.  The company currently pays an annual dividend of$1.60 per share for a yield of around 12.3%.  CYS is trading at 87% of estimated book value.

American Capital Agency Corporation (AGNC) pays an annual dividend of five dollars per share for a yield of around 16.2%. The company invests in residential mortgage pass-through securities and collateralized mortgage obligations for which the principal and interest payments are guaranteed by government-sponsored entities or by the United States government agency.  AGNC is trading at 95% of estimated book value.  American Capital Agency Corp. announced that its Board of Directors has authorized the repurchase of up to $500 million of its outstanding shares of common stock through December 31, 2013.

ARMOUR Residential REIT (ARR) invests primarily in residential mortgage backed securities issued or guaranteed by a United States Government-chartered entity, such as the Federal National Mortgage Association and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, or guaranteed by the Government National Mortgage Administration, a United States Government corporation (Ginnie Mae). The company currently pays an annual dividend of$1.08 per share for a yield of around 15.5%.  ARR is trading at 91% of estimated book value.

Impact of Share Buyback on Annaly Capital

Annaly Capital Management, Inc. (NLY) announced that its Board of Directors has authorized the repurchase of up to $1.5 billion of its outstanding common shares over a 12 month period.  Annaly currently has 975 million shares outstanding with a market cap of $15.59 billion.  The buyback is 9.62% of the current market cap.

Based on FY 2013 earnings projections, the buyback will have an EPS accretion of 10.64%.  By adding the accretion with the current dividend yield of 12.5% the total return will be 23% without changing the PE ratio.  It will be hard to find a better high yield investment with this type of potential.

Zacks Investment has Annaly rated as neutral or hold with a 12-month price target of 18.30.  The target price is 15.6% higher than the current market price.

The current low interest rate environment has reduced potential investment returns, only partially offset by low short-term funding costs.  Prepayment rates on residential mortgages have also recently increased as agencies complete programs to repurchase delinquent mortgages and stabilize housing markets.  As a result, we expect net interest margins to narrow moderately over the next 12 months. Longer term, we think Annaly’s conservative financial posture places it in a strong position to expand its portfolio of agency mortgage backed securities once investment markets become more attractive. We think Annaly can augment investment income with higher fees from an expanding portfolio of assets under management for third parties.

Q3 earnings are expected to be announced after market hours on October 29, 2012.  Investors should hold up new purchases until the Q3 results.

Here is a link to the best mortgage REITs for the next quarter.

Mortgage REITs are Still an Attractive High Yield Dividend Play

Mortgage REITs have garnered increased attention among investors in recent weeks after the Federal Reserve announced stimulus measures focused on the purchases of mortgage backed securities.  The Market Vectors Mortgage REIT Income ETF (MORT), which seeks to replicate the price and yield performance of the Market Vectors Global Mortgage REITs Index, has gained over 20 percent year-to-date.

Mortgage REITs (mREITs) continue to be that right place for high yield investors.  The mortgage REITs are currently at a 4% premium to estimated third quarter book value and yielding 12.0%.  One of the biggest risks to mREITs is increasing mortgage prepayments as the reinvestment risk is higher when interest rate spreads decline.  The latest data suggests that mortgage prepayment rates showed a slowdown in the level of activity in September.

However, we expect increases in speeds in upcoming months given the rally in rates.  We continue to favor the mortgage REITs with prepay protected portfolios as they will have better third quarter book value performance from increased pay-ups on specified pools and more stable cash flows from lower reinvestment needs.  Prepayment speeds on 30-year conventional speeds decreased 11% in September from the prior month. Trends were generally consistent between the 30-year and 15-year sectors.

The best mortgage REIT plays are IVR, MTGE, and ATMG in the next quarter.

American Capital Mortgage Investment Corp. (MTGE) reported net income for the three months ended June 30, 2012 of $32.2 million, or $1.15 per share, and net book value of $22.08 per share.  The Company has a current price to estimated 3Qbook value of 106% indicating it is trading at a 6% premium.  However, American Capital has a dividend yield of 14.72% that has been increased 165% in the last year.

Coverage on American Capital Mortgage was initiated with an Outperform at JMP Securities. The stock price target is $26.50.

Invesco Mortgage Capital Inc. (IVR) reported net income of $79.8 million, or $0.68 per share (basic and diluted), for the quarter ended June 30, 2012 and its book value per share was $18.40.   The Company has a current price to estimated 3Qbook value of 105% indicating it is trading at a 5% premium.  Invesco Mortgage has a dividend yield of 12.54%.

Morgan Stanley recently upgraded Invesco Mortgage from EQUAL-WEIGHT to OVERWEIGHT.  The stock price target is $22.00.

Apollo Residential Mortgage, Inc. (AMTG) reported Net income was $26.4 million or $1.24 per share, for the three months ended June 30, 2012 and its book value per share was $19.65.   The Company has a current price to estimated 3Qbook value of 104% indicating it is trading at a 4% premium.  Apollo Residential has a dividend yield of 16.02%.

3 High Yield REITs with a Bullish Outlook

Shares of high yielding REITs have been relatively flat in August.  The Vanguard REIT ETF (VNQ), which tracks the performance of an index that measures the performance of publicly traded equity REITs, is up over 14 percent this year, nearly double the Dow Jones gain of 8 percent over the same period.  Investors have looked to mortgage REITs to take advantage of the recovering U.S. housing market. Mortgage REITs do not directly invest in real estate but invest in the mortgages on real estate properties.

While the housing market has gone from bad to less bad, these REITs have just declared higher dividends for their investors.  Each of these REITs has high dividend yields over 10% with a Bullish outlook.

Newcastle Investment Corp. (NYSE: NCT) announced that its Board of Directors has declared a quarterly dividend of $0.22 per common share for the third quarter of 2012, representing a 10% increase from the prior quarter’s dividend of $0.20per common share. The dividend is payable on October 31, 2012 to shareholders of record on October 1, 2012.  Newcastle has a current dividend yield of 10.3%.

Newcastle Investment announced that it has completed the sale of 100% of its interests in CDO X in connection with the liquidation and termination of CDO X.  Newcastle received $130 million for $89.75 million face amount of subordinated notes and all of its equity in CDO X.  The sale and resulting deconsolidation of CDO X from the Company’s balance sheet will eliminate the impact of CDO X’s negative net book value and generate an approximately $200 million gain for the third quarter.

Newcastle has an equity summary score of 8.7 out of 10 for a Bullish outlook.  First Call analysts’ consensus has a Buy rating of 1.7.  Newcastle has a 12-month price target of $8.75.

Newcastle Investment (operated as a REIT) focuses on investing in and actively managing opportunistic investments in real estate related assets. The Company primarily invests in two distinct areas: (1) Residential Servicing and Securities and (2) Commercial Real Estate Debt and Other Assets.

The Board of Directors of CreXus Investment Corp. (NYSE: CXS) declared the third quarter 2012 common stock cash dividend of $0.32 per common share.  This dividend is payable October 25, 2012 to common shareholders of record on October 1, 2012. The ex-dividend date is September 27, 2012.

This is an 18.5% increase from the prior dividend of $0.27.  CreXus Investment has a current dividend yield of 10.2%.  EPS is projected to increase 21% in 2013 and 18% in 2014.

CreXus has an equity summary score of 7.6 out of 10 for a Bullish outlook.  First Call analysts’ consensus has a Buy rating of 2.3.  CreXus has a 12-month price target of $12.50.

CreXus (operated as a REIT) acquires, manages and finances, directly or through its subsidiaries, commercial mortgage loans and other commercial real estate debt, commercial real property, commercial mortgage-backed securities and other commercial and residential real estate-related assets.

New York Mortgage Trust, Inc. (NYMT) announced that its Board of Directors declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.27 per share on shares of its common stock for the quarter ending September 30, 2012. The dividend will be payable on October 25, 2012 to common stockholders of record as of September 28, 2012.  New York Mortgage has a current dividend yield of 14.5%.

New York Mortgage has completed an underwritten registered public offering of 10,000,000 shares of common stock at $6.73 per share.  New York Mortgage also granted the underwriters an option to purchase up to an additional 1,500,000 shares of common stock.  The proceeds will be used to purchase more assets.

New York Mortgage has an equity summary score of 9.0 out of 10 for a Bullish outlook.  First Call analysts’ consensus has a Buy rating of 2.0.  New York Mortgage has a 12-month price target of $8.25.

New York Mortgage invests in mortgage-related and financial assets and targets multi-family CMBS and Agency RMBS, including Agency RMBS consisting of adjustable-rate and hybrid adjustable-rate RMBS and Agency IOs consisting of interest only and inverse interest only RMBS that represent the right to the interest component of the cash flow from a pool of mortgage loans.

This Stock Increased its Dividend 75% with a 13.2% Dividend Yield

Ellington Financial LLC (EFC) is a finance company that engages in acquiring and managing mortgage-related assets, including residential mortgage backed securities, prime jumbo, Alternative A-paper and subprime residential mortgage loans. The Company’s targeted assets also include mortgage-related derivatives, corporate debt and equity securities and derivatives.

On May 7, 2012, the Company’s Board of Directors declared a first quarter 2012 dividend of $0.70 per share (75% increase), payable on June 15, 2012 to shareholders of record on June 1, 2012. The Company’s management also announced that, subject to the ultimate discretion of the Board of Directors, it expected to continue to recommend dividends of $0.70 per common share until conditions warrant otherwise. In addition, at the end of any year the Board of Directors will take into account the Company’s earnings and other factors and will consider whether to declare a special dividend.

During the quarter ended March 31, 2012, the Company paid a dividend for the fourth quarter of 2011 in the amount of $0.40 per share. Dividends paid related to 2011 totaled $1.60per share.

EFC will have a dividend yield of 13.2% based on the $0.70 quarterly dividend.  EFC has an equity summary score of 8.1 out of 10 for a Bullish outlook.  EFC has recently been upgraded by Zacks Investment, Thomson Reuters/Verus, Columbine Capital and Ativo Research.

For the first quarter of 2012, the Company recognized net income of $32.1 million, or $1.90 per diluted share. This compares to net income of $1.7 million, or $0.10 per diluted share, for the quarter ended December 31, 2011. The Company’s reported results reflected strong performance from both of its strategies—non-Agency MBS, including CMBS, as well as Agency RMBS.

On August 4, 2011, the Company’s Board of Directors approved the adoption of a $10 million share repurchase program. The program, which is open-ended in duration, allows the Company to make repurchases from time to time on the open market or in negotiated transactions. Repurchases are at the Company’s discretion, subject to applicable law, share availability, price and the Company’s financial performance, among other considerations. To date, the Company has repurchased 60,980 shares under this program at an aggregate cost of $1.1 million, or an average cost per share of $17.22. No additional shares were purchased during the quarter ended March 31, 2012.

Annaly Capital (NLY) Still Rated Outperform

Annaly Capital Management (NLY) reported first quarter “core” EPS (fully diluted and after preferred dividend excluding realized and unrealized trading gains) of $0.44, in line with our estimate. Leverage increased during the quarter, but still remains below peers. Book value ended the quarter at $16.18, up 1% from the fourth quarter and 1% better than our estimate.

Estimates: We are raising our 2012 through 2014 core EPS estimates to $1.84 (from $1.80), $1.95 (from $1.85), and $1.95 (from $1.85) to reflect the higher ending period leverage. Our estimates assume that Annaly takes leverage to 6.5x by the end of 2012.

Valuation: Annaly is currently trading at a 1% premium to current book value and is yielding 13.5% on the current dividend.

Reiterate Outperform: Annaly has the potential to increase the level of returns through returning leverage to more historical levels.

Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) have continued to attract investors in 2012 as the U.S. housing market has begun to show signs of a long-awaited recovery. An improving economy and record-low mortgage rates have encouraged many potential buyers. U.S. single family home prices increased for the first time in nearly a year according to a recent survey Tuesday.

Best Dividend Stocks for 2012 – Mortgage REITs

Attractive Returns to Continue, Prefer Non-Agency REITs

Prefer non-Agency: Heading into 2012 we think that the hybrid/non-Agency REITs generally offer more attractive value with the potential for more capital appreciation plus a more stable dividend outlook given the attractive reinvestment environment.

TWO remains top pick: Against this framework Two Harbors remains our top pick among the mortgage REITs.  The company has been opportunistically adding to its non-Agency position at incrementally accretive risk-adjusted yields.  This combined with the Agency portfolio with favorable prepayment characteristics gives us confidence in the sustainability of the current 16.8% yield.

Agency MBS: While the net interest spread opportunity in the Agency MBS space contracted during 2011 the returns remain attractive by historical standards.  In addition the reduced uncertainty around the prepay environment, specifically government actions, should make for a more predictable return path than in 2011.

Non-Agency MBS: In 2012 we continue to see the spread environment remaining attractive on a risk-adjusted basis with incremental spreads higher than the existing realized spreads.  It is more challenging to know how the securities will perform on a mark to market basis, which will be dependent on the broader
market risk appetite over the short-term.

Capital Raising: Given the attractive level of returns we see that the mortgage REITs will continue to have an appetite to raise additional capital.  The current gating factor is stock prices; current valuations would generally not allow the mortgage REITs to raise new stock at a price below book value.  We see the need for 6-7% premium in the group for offerings to become more likely.

Valuation: The relationship between price to book and ROE is less correlated today than it has been in the past as investors are putting a greater premium on safety versus returns.  This results in higher price to book multiples for the Agency REITs versus the broader group of hybrids.

The table below displays the mortgage REITs with the highest equity score (compellation of analyst opinions with 10 being Very Bullish).

Mortgage REITs for 2012,

Click to enlarge

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