Ellington Financial LLC Reports Fourth Quarter 2013 Results
OLD GREENWICH, Connecticut—February 12, 2014
Ellington Financial LLC (NYSE: EFC) (the "Company") today reported financial results for the quarter ended December 31, 2013.
Net increase in shareholders' equity resulting from operations ("net income") for the fourth quarter was $14.9 million, or $0.58 per basic and diluted share. For the year ended December 31, 2013, net income was $78.5 million, or $3.28 per share, and return on average equity was 13.4%.
Book value per share as of December 31, 2013 was $23.99 on a diluted basis, after payment of a quarterly dividend in the fourth quarter of $0.77 per share, as compared to book value per share of $24.19 on a diluted basis as of September 30, 2013.
The Company's non-Agency strategy generated gross income of $20.5 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2013.
The Company's Agency strategy generated gross income of $1.9 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2013.
The Company's Board of Directors declared a dividend of $0.77 per share for the fourth quarter of 2013 payable on March 17, 2014 to shareholders of record on February 28, 2014. Dividends are paid quarterly in arrears.
Fourth Quarter 2013 Results
For the quarter ended December 31, 2013, the Company recognized net income of $14.9 million, or $0.58 per share. This compares to net income of $11.7 million, or $0.45 per share, for the quarter ended September 30, 2013. During the fourth quarter, both the non-Agency and Agency strategies contributed positively to net income.
"We are pleased to report our results for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2013," said Laurence Penn, Chief Executive Officer and President of the Company. "Despite the backdrop of a volatile and rising rate environment for most of 2013, we were able to generate a return on average equity for the year of 13.4%. As we have said before, we expect a meaningful part of our return generation will come from active portfolio management, and 2013 was no different. Over the course of the year, we realized net gains of $25.5 million, or $1.06 per share, on our combined portfolios. We expect that the opportunity for trading gains will continue to be strong in 2014, particularly as the large Wall Street broker-dealers continue to shrink their balance sheets and reduce their tolerance for risk-taking, as they continue to implement changes under Dodd-Frank and Basel III. In the non-Agency RMBS market, we believe that we will continue to see an abundance of security and sector mispricings, and that we will be able to take advantage of these opportunities thanks to our active management style and our focus on total return. We believe that while the Agency RMBS market will remain volatile in 2014, we are well equipped to take advantage of that volatility. Importantly, we will continue to actively hedge our portfolios, with a wide variety of instruments. During 2013, our hedging activities were a net positive contributor to our results. The net impact of our interest rate and credit hedging was income of $8.5 million, or $0.34 per share, for the year. In addition, as compared to the beginning of 2013, our diluted book value per share declined only 1.6% to $23.99 per share, even after paying strong dividends. We are extremely satisfied with this performance, especially when compared to many mortgage REITs that suffered double-digit declines in book value over the year. As always, our primary goal remains the generation of attractive returns in up markets and preservation of book value in down markets. Lastly, we are very excited about some of the asset classes where we see potential for significant growth and opportunities in 2014. During the fourth quarter, we purchased our first pool of non-performing residential loans, we added to our distressed commercial loan portfolio, and we purchased our first European non-dollar-denominated RMBS. In each of these sectors, we see increased selling volumes in 2014, and we believe we are fully positioned to capitalize on the opportunities."
The Company's non-Agency strategy generated gross income in the amount of $20.5 million for the fourth quarter, or $0.78 per share. Income from the Company's non-Agency strategy was driven by positive contributions from interest income, net realized and unrealized gains on investments and net gains from interest rate hedges, partially offset by losses on credit hedges and interest expense. Following the decision announced by the Federal Reserve in September not to cut back, or "taper," its monthly pace of bond purchases under QE3, non-Agency RMBS prices and yield spreads continued to improve, especially in the early part of the fourth quarter. Over the remainder of the quarter, market concerns about an imminent taper by the Federal Reserve resumed, and interest rates rose as a result; nevertheless, non-Agency RMBS yield spreads continued to tighten, albeit more slowly. Ultimately, in December, the Federal Reserve announced a modest $10 billion reduction in its $85 billion of monthly asset purchases beginning in January 2014, with the reduction split evenly between Agency RMBS and U.S. Treasury securities. By the end of the fourth quarter as compared to the beginning of the fourth quarter, the rate on the 10-year U.S. Treasury had increased 42 basis points to 3.03%— its highest level in over two years—and the 5-year swap rate had increased 25 basis points to 1.79%. In response to the rally in non-Agency RMBS, the Company traded its portfolio more actively in the
The following information was filed by Ellington Financial Llc (EFC) on Thursday, February 13, 2014 as an 8K 2.02 statement, which is an earnings press release pertaining to results of operations and financial condition. It may be helpful to assess the quality of management by comparing the information in the press release to the information in the accompanying 10-K Annual Report statement of earnings and operation as management may choose to highlight particular information in the press release.