Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Chimera Investment (CIM) Q3 2021 Earnings Call Transcript

By Motley Fool Transcribing – Nov 3, 2021 at 4:31PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

CIM earnings call for the period ending September 30, 2021.

Logo of jester cap with thought bubble.

Image source: The Motley Fool.

Chimera Investment (CIM -1.44%)
Q3 2021 Earnings Call
Nov 03, 2021, 8:30 a.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:


Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the Chimera Investment Corporation third quarter 2021 earnings conference call and webcast. [Operator instructions] It is now my pleasure to turn the floor over to Victor Falvo, head of capital markets. Please go ahead.

Victor Falvo -- Head of Capital Markets

Thank you, operator, and thank you, everyone, for participating in Chimera's third quarter 2021 earnings conference call. Before we begin, I'd like to review the safe harbor statements. During this call, we will be making forward-looking statements, which are predictions, projections, or other statements about future events. These statements are based on current expectations and assumptions that are subject to risks and uncertainties, which are outlined in the Risk Factors section of our most recent annual and quarterly SEC filings.

Actual events and results may differ materially from these forward-looking statements. We encourage you to read the forward-looking statement disclaimer in our earnings release in addition to our quarterly and annual filings. During the call today, we may also discuss non-GAAP financial measures. Please refer to our SEC filings and earnings supplement for reconciliation to the most comparable GAAP measures.

10 stocks we like better than Chimera Investment
When our award-winning analyst team has a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has tripled the market.* 

They just revealed what they believe are the ten best stocks for investors to buy right now... and Chimera Investment wasn't one of them! That's right -- they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.

See the 10 stocks

*Stock Advisor returns as of October 20, 2021

Additionally, the content of this conference call may contain time-sensitive information that is accurate only as of the date of this earnings call. We do not undertake and specifically disclaim any obligation to update or revise this information. I will now turn the conference over to our CEO and chief investment officer, Mohit Marria.

Mohit Marria -- Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer

Thanks, Vic. Good morning, and welcome to the third quarter 2021 earnings call for Chimera Investment Corporation. Joining me on the call today are Choudhary Yarlagadda, our president and chief operating officer; Subra Viswanathan, our chief financial officer; Kelley Kortman, our chief accounting officer; and Vic Falvo, our head of capital markets. After my remarks, Subra will review the financial results, and then we will open the call up for questions.

This quarter and throughout the year, we have continued to bolster our liability structure through securitization activity and improvements made to our repo facilities, both in rate and tender. And for the year, we have resecuritized 13 of our legacy reperforming deals, totaling roughly $6 billion. Securitization has enabled Chimera to lock in long-term non-mark-to-market financing while insulating our high-yield risk retention assets from voluntary prepayments. Actions taken this year have made a significant impact on the earnings and have reduced the cost of financing for our loan portfolio on non-agency RMBS by 140 basis points since year-end.

We expect the many actions taken on our liability structure to have a positive impact on our earnings available for distributions for many quarters into the future. Interest rates rallied to start the third quarter, while the yield on 10-year treasuries initially falling by 25 basis points. The rally failed to hold up and the market rather picked up about concerning higher inflationary expectations. The Federal Reserve provided clarity to the markets about their potential unwind of quantitative easing.

And despite intra-quarter volatility, the 10-year ended the quarter at 1.49% yield, virtually where it began in July. The housing market continued its trend toward higher home prices with the Index showing year-over-year national home price appreciation of nearly 20%, the largest gain in more than 30 years. We expect positive HPA to continue in the near term as mortgage rates remain low, housing inventory remains tight, and the economy continue to emerge from a global pandemic. Investor demand for spread product remained strong this quarter.

The spreads on U.S. high-grade and high-yield indices hovering near all-time types. These market conditions have yielded positive benefits for Chimera securitization business while resulting in considerable price appreciation of our residential loan portfolio and overall improvement of the company's book value. This quarter, we continued execution of our call optimization strategy.

In July, we called our CMLTI 2017-RP2 securitization, which carried a 4% cost of debt. Subsequently, we sponsored $450 million CIM 2021-R5 with reperforming loans, of which approximately $180 million was from the previously called deal and the remainder provided from our loan warehouse. We sold $383 million senior securities representing 85% of the capital structure with a 1.99% average cost of debt, approximately 200 basis points below the cost of the previous CMLTI financing. We retained for investments 67 million subordinate notes and interest-only securities from the deal.

This securitization becomes callable by Chimera any time beginning August 2024. We also sponsored $435 million CIM 2021-INB1, our first agency-eligible investor loan securitization of 2021. We created and sold $408 million in securities, representing a 94% advance rate. This deal is not consolidated on our balance sheet.

However, Chimera invested $27 million in subordinate and interest-only securities. The investor loan deal was rated by Moody's and Kroll and Chimera retained a 10% cleanup call. While we have made many long-term improvements to our liability structure, this quarter, we made a significant amount of new asset purchases for our investment portfolio. This quarter, we purchased and settled $583 million reperforming loans with a 3.63 weighted-average coupon.

The loans have an average balance of $241,000 and are 15-year seasons. In early October, we securitized $354 million CIM 2021-R6 with reperforming loans from our loan warehouse. We sold $336 million in notes, representing a 95% advance rate, the highest advance rate we have received on reperforming loans to date. The average cost of debt for the R6 deal was 1.53%.

Chimera retained a $80 million investment in subordinate notes and interest-only securities. The R6 deal was rated by Fitch and DBRS and will be callable beginning September 2026. We continue to expand our business purpose loan segment of our portfolio. This quarter, we purchased $115 million in business purpose loans with an 8.4% gross coupon and a 6.7% coupon net of servicing and asset management.

These loans are compelling fundamental investment characteristics and are very short duration assets. We currently finance business purpose loans in our loan warehouse, which produces an attractive net interest spread for the portfolio with a very low duration risk. This quarter's BPO purchase bring our year-to-date total to more than $318 million and continue to seek additional opportunity to purchase additional business purpose loans and expand upon this business. This quarter, we also committed to purchase $148 million on reperforming loans for our portfolio.

These loans have a 4.2 weighted-average coupon and are a 178-month seasons. The average loan balance is expected to be around $175,000. These loans did not settle prior to quarter-end. However, we expect to settle these loans in the fourth quarter for future securitizations.

In total, this quarter, we committed to purchasing nearly $850 million in loans which highlights Chimera's continued ability to acquire desired mortgage assets through many economic and interest rate cycles. We have accumulated and maintained a large portfolio of seasonal reperforming loans over the last seven years. These assets continue to produce high yields for the portfolio while demonstrating a consistency in prepayments or many economic and interest rate cycles. As we have stated in the past, the delinquencies and default rates on our loan portfolio have outperformed our original expectations.

And over the last 12 months, despite the pandemic, delinquencies have continued to improve. The homeowner and our loans have demonstrated resiliency over time with many benefiting from the recent strength of the housing market. Mortgage securitization has been a primary component of our business model for more than a decade. We have utilized loan securitization to help manage both our liquidity risk and mark-to-market risk as our primary source of financing.

Over the last six years, most of our securitizations were structured with explicit call options, which has enabled us to take advantage of favorable market conditions available so far in 2021. With the current strength of our balance sheet, we believe we can continue to seek new opportunities and grow our portfolio as the country begins to normalize and eventually exit from the COVID pandemic. We strive to be best-in-class asset and liability managers in the mortgage REIT industry. Our primary objective is to provide our shareholders with a stable and sustainable dividend, while managing our assets and liability risk to the best of our abilities to minimize book value volatility into the future.

I will now turn the call over to Subra to review the financial results for this quarter.

Subra Viswanathan -- Chief Financial Officer

Thank you, Mohit, and good morning, everyone. As you may have noted from our earnings release this morning, effective this period, we will no longer report on the non-GAAP measure core earnings. And instead, report on new non-GAAP measure earnings available for distribution. While our terminology has changed, our method for the calculation of earnings available for distribution is identical to the previous calculation of core earnings.

Now I will review Chimera's financial highlights for the third quarter of 2021. GAAP book value at the end of the third quarter was $12.32 per share and our economic return on book value was 10.5% based on the quarterly change in GAAP book value and the third quarter dividend per share. GAAP net income for the third quarter was $313 million or $1.30 per share. On an earnings available for distribution basis, net income for the third quarter was $102 million or $0.42 per share.

$14 million or $0.06 per share of our earnings available for distribution were a result of income received on securities that have been called. Economic net interest income for the third quarter was $149 million. For the third quarter, the yield on average interest-earning assets was 6.3%. Our average cost of funds was 2.4%, and our net interest spread was 3.9%.

Total leverage for the third quarter was 3.1 is to one, while recourse leverage ended the quarter at one is to one. For the quarter, our economic net interest return on equity was 16%, and our GAAP return on equity was 35%. Our expenses for the third quarter, excluding service fees and transaction expense, were $18 million, up slightly from last quarter. That concludes our remarks, and we'll now open the call for questions. 

Questions & Answers:


Operator

[Operator instructions] We'll take our first question from Bose George of KBW. 

Mike Smyth

Hey. Good morning, everyone. This is actually Mike Smyth on for Bose. Congrats on a really strong quarter.

My first question is, we've heard that RPL and NPL dollar prices are pretty elevated, which has made returns on securitizations a little bit less attractive. So I was just wondering if you could provide any color here. And then maybe in certain instances, does it make sense to just call and sell as opposed to call and securitize? 

Mohit Marria -- Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer

Sure, Kevin -- Mike, I'm sorry. Yes. Loan pricing obviously has during the course of 2021 and reflected in the strong performance of our book value this quarter. But it's the credit that you pick and the securitization that you can execute to determine how effective of a purchase it is.

As we mentioned, even in a tighter environment for spreads on loans, we were able to acquire $850 million of loans in Q3. We are looking to securitize these loans in the coming quarters and the amount of advance rates we can achieve, we think still generate attractive returns on the retained pieces to the tune of probably mid-high single digits on the back end on the cash on a loss-adjusted basis, some small leverage could be double digits pretty easily. So we're still pretty optimistic on the liability of securitizations in addition to acquiring loans even with where prices have gotten.

Mike Smyth

Great. That's helpful color. And then just one more on BPLs. There's been a lot of M&A activity and there's certainly a lot of institutional interest in the space.

I was just wondering, has this -- or any of this changed the expected returns or how you source loans?

Mohit Marria -- Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer

Again, I think these are pretty short-duration assets, which is an attractive thing this rate environment with expectations of rates moving higher. As we highlighted, our gross coupons on what we've acquired is just north of 8%, and on a net basis, is very high 6s. Again, there's different niches within the business purpose loan space. We haven't seen any change in the returns being offered to us among what we can obtain.

And I guess, we're looking to grow that subset of our portfolio more meaningfully in 2022.

Mike Smyth

Great. Thanks a lot for taking the questions. 

Mohit Marria -- Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer

No problem. Thanks, Mike.

Operator

Our next question is from Eric Hagen of BTIG.

Eric Hagen -- BTIG -- Analyst

Hey. Good morning. First question on the $240 million of unrealized gains in the period, can you tease apart what the factors were that led to that? I felt like we came into the quarter with credit spreads already pretty tight. I'm just wondering what the -- maybe some of the individual factors that led to that were?

Mohit Marria -- Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer

Sure, Kevin. I'll start, and I'll let Subra and Kelley add if I miss on anything. Sure, as the question just asked by Mike, given how strong the loan performance and where pricing has gotten, that is the key driver of the book value appreciation in Q3. The loan spreads tightened an additional 40 basis points quarter over quarter.

And with an implied duration of around four to five years, that's a meaningful uptick on our loans held for consolidation and investment in our balance, that was the key driver. We agree with you with spreads already pretty tight coming into Q3. Most of the other spread products and securities that we hold were primarily unchanged for the quarter. Subra or Kelley, is there anything else you would add to that?

Subra Viswanathan -- Chief Financial Officer

No. That pretty much summarizes it.

Eric Hagen -- BTIG -- Analyst

Yes. That was helpful. But what were the factors individually? Like is there a lower severity rate that's being applied to the loans? Or is it -- what are the faster prepayment speeds? What are the actual factors that are driving that?

Mohit Marria -- Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer

Again, I think the -- obviously, the performance of the credit speaks for ourselves. So the speeds have upticked a little bit given the low rate environment. Home price -- strong home price appreciation has decreased, LTVs as we also discussed in the Q2 call as well as the higher or lower LTVs resulting in all-in lower severity. So overall loss expectations have obviously gone down for mortgage assets, but more so than that, it's just the demand for the assets within the secondary market.

As you guys know, the GSEs are the largest seller in addition to some banks and funds. And just in the secondary market, loan trading spreads were 40 basis points tighter quarter over quarter, which is driving upside on our large residential season portfolio of loans. So all the other metrics that you've mentioned as it relates to performance have all improved, leading to some price appreciation. But the net of it is just a secondary trading from loans still is very attractive relative to other mortgage products in terms of an all-in yield with upside to, again, long-term performance.

Eric Hagen -- BTIG -- Analyst

Got it. OK. And then on the loan warehouse financing, can you guys talk about how much capacity you have there to finance any potential growth in the portfolio? 

Mohit Marria -- Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer

Sure. Over the third quarter, we bought $850 million, all of which is going to be warehouse financed. But as we've said over numerous calls, our objective is to securitize this as quickly as possible. Our typical holding period on the warehouse line would be anywhere between two to three months with a securitization exit.

So we have plenty of capacity to add to the lives currently, if we saw opportunities between now and year-end. And again, with the securitization market is still pretty strong, we're looking to continue securitizing, and as I mentioned in our opening remarks, we did do a securitization right after quarter end and we've pretty effective execution on it.

Eric Hagen -- BTIG -- Analyst

Right. And sorry, if I missed it, but the $850 million that you guys bought, what was the breakdown between fixed and flip, prime jumbo, and RPL? 

Mohit Marria -- Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer

So of the $850 million, we bought $115 million of that is fixed and flip and the remaining is all-season reperforming and none of that is prime jumbo.

Eric Hagen -- BTIG -- Analyst

OK. The prime jumbo is not included. Got it. Thank you very much. 

Mohit Marria -- Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer

No problem. Thanks.

Operator

[Operator instructions] We'll move next to Trevor Cranston of JMP Securities.

Trevor Cranston -- JMP Securities -- Analyst

Hey. Thanks. Good morning. Follow-up on the question about BPLs and trying to grow that portfolio going forward.

We've seen some peers look to acquire lenders in that space as a way to sort of secure on asset flow. Just curious if that's something you guys have considered or you prefer to continue sourcing more employees where you have historically. 

Mohit Marria -- Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer

Yes. I mean, we've seen, obviously, some of the activity -- M&A activity in the space. We are actively looking at that. But given the captive relationships that we have, we've been pretty successful in acquiring those assets over the last two years and especially in Q3.

I think our track record even during COVID, where people were distressed, ee fulfilled all of our obligations, then fund any loans we have committed to, and it has given us a lot more credibility in the space. And I think we will be successful with or without an M&A activity to still be able to source those loans and grow the portfolio.

Trevor Cranston -- JMP Securities -- Analyst

OK. Gotcha. And then also to follow up on the question about the warehouse capacity for continuing to grow. From a capital perspective, can you maybe share your thoughts on how much room you guys have to keep adding assets to the portfolio and growing in 2022 before you may potentially need to look at raising additional capital?

Mohit Marria -- Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer

Sure. I mean we have north of $300 million of cash on balance sheet and that number has been hovering pretty high post the pandemic. We have significantly brought down our recourse leverage down to one turn of recourse leverage. So between cash and unencumbered assets, we plenty of capital to grow the portfolio.

We just want to be judicious in making sure we find the right opportunities. The first half of the year, our focus was on optimizing the liability side. That remains the key theme for Q3. But we were able to successfully add some mortgage assets to the tune of $850 million.

With taper expectations potentially later today from the Fed, inflation that doesn't seem to be transitory, and a potential higher rate environment, and potentially a spread widening environment, we think could create some opportunities to deploy the excess liquidity we do have on balance sheet in Q4 and as we enter 2022. 

Trevor Cranston -- JMP Securities -- Analyst

OK. Got it. And then last thing on the loan spread tightening you mentioned, which obviously impacted 3Q book value, have you seen that continue into the fourth quarter or would you say it's sort of flattened off? And can you give any commentary on that number? 

Mohit Marria -- Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer

Yes. Our expectation was given sort of the quick move in rates to start Q4, coupled with a little bit of softening on the new issue front, what have led to some widening in the loan trading. There was actually a GSE loan sale that occurred yesterday. I don't have full color yet.

But again, I think those loans traded extremely well. So really haven't seen a softening on the loan trading side as we have seen on again some of the security side as we head into year end. I don't think that's a long-term trend. I think, again, given the vast move in rates, the expectation of higher rates have made people a little nervous after a pretty successful 2021.

I think that could be, again, the transitional thing. But I gather is a sort of cash on the sidelines looking to be deployed within the mortgage space. I think any widening should be just near term and revert back to where it has been for the better part of 2021. 

Trevor Cranston -- JMP Securities -- Analyst

OK. That's helpful. Thank you. 

Mohit Marria -- Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer

Thanks, Trevor.

Operator

[Operator instructions] We'll move next to Doug Harter of Credit Suisse. 

Doug Harter -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Thanks. Can you just talk about kind of what changed in the market? Was it kind of your appetite? Or was it more supply that kind of led to the increased activity in the quarter?

Mohit Marria -- Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer

Yes. I mean, our appetite has been, as we've highlighted on numerous calls, Doug, been pretty strong for seasonal reperforming loans. We were just not as competitive as we would have been in the first half of the year. I think some of the counterparties that we engage within Q3 were not your run-of-the-mill for the traditional sellers.

So we were able to successfully negotiate transactions with less sort of in comp, if you will. And then that's where we've had the most success.

Doug Harter -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Got it. Any insights or share your thoughts as to whether that continues or is it more likely to be a competitive bidding process in the coming quarters?

Mohit Marria -- Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer

I think, again, those opportunities that are a little more quiet few and far between, but we think some will still come to the forefront, just given how strong loan demand is. And I think as I just highlighted, if there is a slight widening, people could pull back, it's been a pretty active year. So we're hopeful to take advantage of that, given that's been sort of our core focus and strength, and we differentiate ourselves in that space from others.

Doug Harter -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Got it. And just, I guess how do you think about kind of the -- on the reperforming book that you have, where you would see kind of the current mark-to-market LTV on the book given the strength of home price appreciation over the past year-plus?

Mohit Marria -- Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer

Sure. As we mentioned in our opening remarks, year over year was up about [Technical difficulty] in 30-plus years. And I think we touched upon this on the Q2 earnings call as well. On the amount of resecuritization activity we've had this year, a lot of the loans acquired in 2016 and '17 had LTVs in the mid-high 80s.

Those LTVs are fresh than we have done the resecuritization are closer to mid-50s, and they have come down quite significantly. And I think that would be where I would say the overall portfolio of LTV is adjusted for home price depreciation and amortization in the last three, four years, probably mid-high 50s on the aggregate. 

Doug Harter -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Great. Thank you. 

Operator

This does conclude our question-and-answer session for this morning. I'd be happy to return the call to Mr. Mohit Marria for any concluding remarks.

Mohit Marria -- Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer

Thank you, Leo, and thank you, everybody, for participating in our call, and we look forward to talking to you again next quarter.

Operator

[Operator signoff]

Duration: 26 minutes

Call participants:

Victor Falvo -- Head of Capital Markets

Mohit Marria -- Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer

Subra Viswanathan -- Chief Financial Officer

Mike Smyth

Eric Hagen -- BTIG -- Analyst

Trevor Cranston -- JMP Securities -- Analyst

Doug Harter -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

More CIM analysis

All earnings call transcripts

This article is a transcript of this conference call produced for The Motley Fool. While we strive for our Foolish Best, there may be errors, omissions, or inaccuracies in this transcript. As with all our articles, The Motley Fool does not assume any responsibility for your use of this content, and we strongly encourage you to do your own research, including listening to the call yourself and reading the company's SEC filings. Please see our Terms and Conditions for additional details, including our Obligatory Capitalized Disclaimers of Liability.

The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.