Ellington Financial LLC Reports Fourth Quarter 2014 Results
OLD GREENWICH, Connecticut—February 11, 2015
Ellington Financial LLC (NYSE: EFC) today reported financial results for the quarter ended December 31, 2014.
Net increase in shareholders' equity resulting from operations ("net income") for the fourth quarter was $2.6 million, or $0.08 per basic and diluted share.
Book value per share as of December 31, 2014 was $23.09 on a diluted basis, after payment of a quarterly dividend in the third quarter of $0.77 per share, as compared to book value per share of $23.79 on a diluted basis as of September 30, 2014.
Our non-Agency strategy generated gross income of $7.7 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2014.
Our Agency strategy generated gross income of $0.4 million for the quarter ended December 31, 2014.
Our Board of Directors declared a dividend of $0.65 per share for the fourth quarter of 2014, equating to an annualized dividend yield of 12.6% based on the February 10, 2015 closing price of $20.62; dividends are paid quarterly in arrears.
Fourth Quarter 2014 Results
For the quarter ended December 31, 2014, net income was $2.6 million, or $0.08 per share. This compares to net income of $12.9 million, or $0.46 per share, for the quarter ended September 30, 2014.
"In the face of sharply lower interest rates and a flattening yield curve, both our non-Agency and Agency strategies generated positive net income during the fourth quarter, and we continued to diversify our revenue sources," said Laurence Penn, Chief Executive Officer and President. "At the end of 2014, several of our newer strategies were still in the ramp-up phase, and we expect that they will start contributing meaningfully to our results over the coming quarters. Meanwhile, our non-Agency RMBS performed well over the course of the quarter, although the income generated from these assets was significantly offset by losses on our interest rate and credit hedges. Our commercial mortgage portfolio, which includes CMBS and small balance commercial loans, continued its strong performance in the fourth quarter. We remain active buyers of CMBS B-pieces and active traders of CMBS generally, and we continue to see—and capitalize on—numerous opportunities to acquire profitable small balance commercial loans. Despite the relatively small size of our commercial mortgage portfolio, our profits in that sector significantly augmented our non-Agency returns over the course of the fourth quarter and full year.
"We are diversifying our revenue sources into adjacent sectors where we believe our analytical expertise, research, and systems give us an edge that enables us to capitalize on market inefficiencies and achieve attractive risk-adjusted returns. During the fourth quarter, we began purchasing U.S. consumer loans, where we are seeing very attractive opportunities and expect significant future portfolio growth. We also began purchasing distressed corporate debt, where in the current market environment we expect our purchases to be more opportunistic in nature. We also made a strategic investment in another mortgage originator. The strategic investment took the form of subordinated debt, and we expect to make additional debt and/or equity investments in mortgage originators over the coming quarters."
Our non-Agency strategy generated gross income in the amount of $7.7 million for the fourth quarter, or $0.23 per share. Income from our non-Agency strategy was driven by interest income, partially offset by interest rate hedges, credit hedges and other activities, interest expense, and other investment related expenses. During the fourth quarter, we turned over approximately 13% of our bond portfolio, as measured by sales, excluding paydowns. Active portfolio trading is a key component of our strategy, and we actively trade our bond portfolio not only for the generation of total return, but also to enhance the composition of our portfolio. As a result of our trading activity, we monetized net realized gains of $7.4 million, or $0.22 per share, but these gains were offset by a decrease in net unrealized gains (losses) of $7.3 million, or $0.21 per share. During the fourth quarter, we completed deployment of the proceeds of our September capital raise, largely in non-Agency investments; as of December 31, 2014, our total long non-Agency portfolio was $880.4 million, as compared to $719.7 million as of September 30, 2014, representing an increase of 22.3%.
During the fourth quarter, the broader financial markets experienced a heightened level of volatility, most notably in connection with the steep drop in oil prices. However, prices of non-Agency RMBS exhibited relative stability, as support was provided by ongoing improvements in fundamental data, including mortgage delinquency and foreclosure rates, as well as by the drop in oil prices. Since crude oil prices directly and indirectly drive the price of gasoline, heating oil, and other significant budget items for homeowners, the decline in oil prices should free up significant disposable income for homeowners over the near term, and
The following information was filed by Ellington Financial Llc (EFC) on Wednesday, February 11, 2015 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.