Ellington Financial Inc. Reports First Quarter 2019 Results
OLD GREENWICH, Connecticut—May 7, 2019
Ellington Financial Inc. (NYSE: EFC) ("Ellington Financial" or the "Company") today reported financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2019.
Net income of $15.4 million, or $0.52 per basic and diluted share.
Book value per share as of March 31, 2019 of $18.90, including the effect of dividends of $0.55 per share, which included the Company's final quarterly dividend of $0.41 per share and its first monthly dividend of $0.14 per share.
Credit strategy gross income of $16.5 million for the quarter, or $0.54 per share.
Agency strategy gross income of $5.4 million for the quarter, or $0.18 per share.
Core Earnings1 of $13.3 million, or $0.45 per share.
Dividend yield of 9.3% based on the May 6, 2019 closing stock price of $18.08 per share.
Debt-to-equity ratio of 3.39:12 and total recourse debt-to-equity ratio of 2.63:13 as of March 31, 2019.
Announced that the Company intends to be taxed as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes for tax year 2019, and announced the conversion of the Company to a corporation under Delaware law.
First Quarter 2019 Results
"During the quarter, our first quarter as a REIT, Ellington Financial grew net income and generated Core Earnings in excess of our newly increased dividend run rate of $0.42 per quarter," stated Laurence Penn, Chief Executive Officer and President. "We had excellent results from our diversified credit and Agency portfolios, and produced an annualized economic return of 11.7%.
"We continued to benefit from the excellent performance of our residential non-performing loans, small-balance commercial mortgage loans, non-QM loans, and consumer loans. Our Agency portfolio also performed very well this quarter. In addition, we successfully executed on several notable transactions during the quarter, including a securitization of re-performing Irish residential loans, and the fourth Ellington-sponsored CLO, which was upsized due to strong investor demand. At the same time, we participated in the asset ramp-up for two additional planned CLOs, one in the U.S. and one in Europe.
"Also this quarter, we shifted to a monthly dividend, while at the same time increasing our annualized dividend by 2.4%, reflecting the steady growth of our net interest income and overall earnings power. Given that we have always reported our book value on a monthly basis, we believe that our shift to a monthly dividend was a natural one, and will further enhance performance transparency. We believe that this will not only benefit our existing shareholders, but increase the breadth of our investor base as well.
"The year is off to a great start, and we believe that our performance over the past several quarters demonstrates Ellington Financial's ability to generate strong and steady returns in a diversity of market environments, including periods of volatility and of stability, rising and falling interest rates, and widening and tightening yield spreads. We attribute our consistent performance to our rigorous asset selection and steady investment pipelines, which have resulted in a diversified and high-yielding portfolio, and our commitment to protecting book value, including through the use of dynamic and disciplined hedging strategies."
Corporate Structure Update
The Company intends to elect to be taxed as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes for the taxable year ending December 31, 2019. To facilitate this election, the Company has elected to be taxed as a corporation for U.S. federal income tax purposes effective as of January 1, 2019. The Company has also converted to a corporation under Delaware law. In March 2019, the Company issued a final Schedule K-1 to those shareholders who held shares in 2018. For 2019, the Company will issue a Form 1099 to shareholders, reporting all dividends paid.
1 Core Earnings is a non-GAAP financial measure. See "Reconciliation of Net Income (Loss) to Core Earnings" below for an explanation regarding the calculation of Core Earnings.
2 Excludes repo borrowings on U.S. Treasury securities.
3 Includes borrowings at certain unconsolidated entities that are recourse to the Company.
The following information was filed by Ellington Financial Llc (EFC) on Wednesday, May 8, 2019 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-Q Quarterly Report statement of earnings and operation as management may choose to highlight particular information in the press release.