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AG Mortgage Investment Trust (MITT -0.17%)
Q2 2022 Earnings Call
Aug 03, 2022, 5:00 p.m. ET

Contents:

  • Prepared Remarks
  • Questions and Answers
  • Call Participants

Prepared Remarks:


Operator

Welcome to the AG Mortgage Investment Trust second quarter 2022 earnings conference call. My name is Vanessa, and I will be your operator for today's call. [Operator instructions] I will now turn the call over to your host, Jenny Neslin, general counsel to the company. You may begin.

Jenny Neslin -- General Counsel

Thank you, Vanessa. Good afternoon, everyone, and welcome to the second quarter 2022 earnings call for AG Mortgage Investment Trust. With me on the call today are David Roberts, our chairman and CEO; T.J. Durkin, our president; Nick Smith, our chief investment officer; and Anthony Rossiello, our chief financial officer.

Before we begin, please note that information discussed in today's call may contain forward-looking statements. Any forward-looking statements made during today's call are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, which are outlined in our SEC filings, including under the headings cautionary statement regarding forward-looking statements, risk factors and management's discussion and analysis. The company's actual results may differ materially from these statements. We encourage you to read the disclosure regarding forward-looking statements contained in our SEC filings including our most recently filed Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2021, and our subsequent reports filed from time to time with the SEC.

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Except as required by law, we are not obligated and do not intend to update or to review or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. During the call today, we will refer to certain non-GAAP financial measures. Please refer to our SEC filings for reconciliations to the most comparable GAAP measures. We will also reference the earnings presentation that was posted to our website this afternoon.

To view the slide presentation, turn to our website, www.agmit.com and click on the link for the second quarter 2022 earnings presentation on the home page in the Investor Presentation section. Again, welcome to the call, and thank you for joining us today. With that, I'd like to turn the call over to David.

David Roberts -- Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Thanks, Jenny. Good afternoon, and thanks to all for joining us. As it turned out, the first quarter was not the end of securitization credit spreads widening, instead, the credit spread increase accelerated, ending the second quarter at elevated levels we have never seen before. Accordingly, due to mark-to-market valuations, the unrealized losses on the loans we held for securitization were actually more severe in Q2 than in Q1.

These unrealized losses were the primary reason we reported a GAAP loss of $2.27 per share. As we discussed last quarter, we hedged against movements in interest rates, but not against movements in spreads. That said, with this difficult quarter behind us, we continue to remain optimistic about our long-term earnings power and our strategy for several reasons. Credit spreads generally reflect the risk of loss.

It is important to note that we see no deterioration in credit performance in the residential mortgage whole loans and securities we own. On a further positive note, our current originations reflect fully the move in credit spreads as of today based on what our team is observing in the securitization market. Our goal remains to increase originations over time subject to our ability to match coupons with financing costs. In the second quarter, we utilized fully our common stock repurchase program, repurchased 1.4 million shares for an average price of $7.70 per share.

This helped offset our book value decline by about $0.29 per share. Our board has authorized a new common stock repurchase program of $15 million. We paid a dividend of $0.21 per common share for the second quarter, consistent with the past four quarters. Our dividend policy will continue to be guided by our view of earnings on a go-forward basis over a multi-quarter period.

In other words, our dividend policy is not based on looking in the rearview mirror. Going forward, we will continue to execute on our business plan. We strongly believe in our origination to securitization strategy. Our infrastructure has given us the ability to continue growing our portfolio into higher-yielding assets in both our home and other origination partners, supporting our ability to remain active in the securitization market and to deliver attractive long-term returns to our shareholders.

I'll now turn the call over to T.J. Durkin.

T.J. Durkin -- President

Thanks, David. I'll review some of the second quarter highlights on Page 6. We continue to be an active participant in the market during the second quarter, albeit at a lower volume than the first quarter. During the quarter, we acquired and settled almost $600 million of non-agency and agency eligible loans.

Looking ahead, we also have a strong pipeline of loans across both products, which Nick will touch on in more detail later in the presentation. We continue to be disciplined about our warehouse risk and are very proud of the fact we executed two securitizations during another challenging quarter. These transactions not only derisked our warehouse lines, but also gave us the flexibility to wait out further securitizations until the market started improving, which we do believe has occurred over the last three to four weeks. We are hopeful that this ability to weight on execution will give us the opportunity to recoup some of the unrealized mark-to-market losses we have taken on our unsecuritized loans.

We believe we have ample liquidity given the size of our book. And as David mentioned, we used approximately $11 million of capital for share repurchases during the quarter at an average price of $7.70, which represented a 31% discount to our June 30 adjusted book value. Nick will cover Arc Home in more detail later in the call, but I'd briefly point out Arc continues to operate from a position of strength given its strong balance sheet, conservative credit culture and a number of historical competitors having to take steps back.

Nick Smith -- Chief Investment Officer

Good evening. We began this quarter cautiously optimistic that the markets would consolidate in or around levels experienced toward the end of the first quarter. This optimism was unfounded as experienced toward -- this optimism was unfounded as the sell-off and risk-free rates continued along with widening of credit spreads. What started primarily as AAA spread widening in the first quarter, expanded into the rest of the IG and non-IG stack, ending with a meaningfully steepening of the credit curve.

Much of the year, loan spreads lag a widening. However, into the end of the quarter, we began to see this dynamic fade. At the end of the quarter and into the beginning of this quarter, term financing spreads and loan spreads have come more in line. We expect this trend to continue throughout the rest of this quarter and likely through the rest of the year.

One bright spot of the most recent spread widening is the expansion of our expected returns while loans sit on the warehouse. This expansion is due largely to our finance team negotiating favorable terms on the warehouse lines in previous quarters. As you can see on Page 7, we expect leverage returns during the warehouse period to be in the 10% to 15% range. It is our view that we like -- we have likely seen close to the full impact of the convexity event or lengthening of the underlying assets since prevailing mortgage rates are now at levels last seen nearly 15 years ago, and credit spreads are the widest we have seen in the past decade.

As T.J. mentioned, our continued derisking through regular securitization further mitigates this risk as our underlying nonsecuritized coupon increases to market rates as we securitize discount coupons. Although the lengthening out of the nonsecuritized home loan book into widening spreads has caused significant unrealized losses this quarter, the expansion of the duration of our excess spread certificate on our securitized loans offset the credit spread widening on the retained subordinate certificates. It is also worth noting that despite issuing debt at these wide levels, we retain the option to call this debt three years after issue.

Said another way, we will ultimately be able to reduce our cost of debt on the transactions issued this year while leaving the debt issued in previous years outstanding for meaningfully longer periods. We maintain post-securitization ROE range of 14% to 25% from the last quarter. As mentioned previously, loan spreads and securitization spreads are more in line versus previous quarters as loan aggregators price in more appropriate liquidity premiums. As we emphasized in previous quarters, as our purchase velocity accelerates, our pace of securitization will have to file a suit.

The upcoming quarters transaction will show that we have stayed true to this messaging. We'd also like to reiterate our commitment to maintaining a prudent credit box. While we've seen others widen out eligibility in an effort to offset volumes, we have done the opposite and tightened eligibility. Turning to Page 8.

We continue to find attractive investment opportunities through Arc Home come and other partners and believe our current liquidity position, combined with increased securitization velocity will allow us to take advantage of the current market dislocation. We have completed five securities year to date and maintain our previous guidance of two to three per quarter. As mentioned previously, we maintain our post-securitization ROE of 14% to 25%. Moving to Page 9.

As you can see on the bottom left chart, approximately 94% of our equity was allocated to the residential investments at the end of this quarter as opposed to 85% at the end of last -- since June 20, we purchased approximately $400 million UPB of pipeline and another $500 million. As mentioned previously, our expected financing returns for loans in warehouse have increased due to recent spread mining and intact warehouse lines. On average, these warehouse lines have over eight months until they expire. Term financing remains at historically wide levels.

We've seen some repeat into the beginning of this new quarter as deals are issued with higher coupons. The top table represents our current yields and cost of funds. Going forward, however, we expect these to be meaningfully higher. For instance, we see asset yields for generic non-QM in the low to mid-6s with the cost of debt in the mid-5s.

Turning to Page 10. This table outlines the high-level collateral characteristics of our securitized and non-securitized portfolio. Here, you can see that although our coupon is resetting higher, in line with higher nominal rates and credit spreads, our credit profile is largely in line with earlier acquisitions. Although we have seen other -- others pursue higher coupons over credit quality, we have maintained discipline around our credit profile next to be able to continue to generate light credits going forward.

Turning to Page 11. Arc Home continues to be an important ingredient in its acquisition strategy. Year to date, MITT has purchased almost $700 million UPB of loans from Arc Home. We expect Arc's non-agency origination volumes for 2022 to be between $1.5 billion and $2 billion.

Arc Home's current cash position along with its unlevered MSR portfolio puts it in a position to continue to expand its on-ac footprint while other entities pull back. There is an opportunity to expand both its wholesale and correspondent footprints as many smaller correspondents turned back to wholesale, while larger originators will look for liquidity from correspondence like Arc as they diversify away from conventional and government products. I'll now turn the call over to Anthony.

Anthony Rossiello -- Chief Financial Officer

Thank you, Nick. Turning to Slide 12. We provide a reconciliation of our book value common share. During the second quarter, book value declined by approximately 16% as a result of recording a GAAP net loss available to common shareholders of approximately $53 million or $2.27 per fully diluted share.

The loss was primarily driven by unrealized mark-to-market losses recorded on our loan portfolios financed on warehouse resulting from the unprecedented credit spread widening discussed earlier in the call. The decline in book value associated with our preferred and common dividends was offset by accretion from our share repurchases where we fully utilized the $11 million of remaining capacity on our existing share repurchase program. During the quarter, we purchased 1.4 million shares or 6% of our total outstanding at a weighted average price of $7.70 per share. During the quarter, we continued to grow our investment portfolio, which has a fair value of $4.1 billion as of June 30, up approximately 10% from Q1.

With this growth, we continue to see quarter-over-quarter increases in interest income, which approximated $39 million for the second quarter. We recorded net interest income of $16 million. And although we did experience NIM compression quarter over quarter, this is purely reflective of the sharp rise in borrowing rates while asset yields lag as new production comes to market. We have begun to see asset yields catch up as our late June and July purchases have coupons ranging from about 5.5% to 6.5%.

Expenses were relatively consistent quarter over quarter with the exception of transaction-related expenses, which declined as we executed two securitizations in the second quarter as compared to three deals in Q1. On Slide 13, we disclosed a reconciliation of our GAAP net income to core earnings, as well as provide a summary of the components of core earnings. During the quarter, we generated core earnings of $0.08 per share. Overall, net interest income inclusive of hedge earnings exceeded our operating expenses and preferred dividends by $7.2 million or $0.31.

However, Arc Home contributed a loss of core of $5.4 million or $0.23, driven by lower volumes and gain on sale. As a reminder, Arc Home's MSR mark-to-market gains, as well as gains on the sale of loans sold to MIT are excluded from core earnings. However, they are recorded as unrealized gains contributing to GAAP earnings. On Slide 14, we provide further details related to our investment in Arc Home.

As of June 30, the fair value of our investment in Arc was $50 million, which is valued using the multiple of 0.96 of book. As noted earlier, Arc Home, which is held in the taxable REIT subsidiary, generated an after-tax net loss of $2.8 million, driven by reduced volumes and lower gain on sale. Losses from Arc's origination business were partially offset by mark-to-market gains on its MSR portfolio. mixed portion of the loss generated from Arc's operating business was approximately $1.3 million.

It's also worth noting on this page that Arc's MSR portfolio ended the quarter at $89 million and was financed with minimal leverage. Turning to Slide 15. We provide an update on our financing profile as of June 30. After completing two more securitizations during the second quarter, and five through the first half of the year, securitized debt makes up 73% of our total financing, up from 56% at March 31 and 36% at December 31.

Conversely, our warehouse financing continued to decline, minimizing our exposure to mark-to-market margin calls, and our economic leverage has remained at 2.7 times equity. This concludes our prepared remarks, and we would now like to open the call for questions.

Questions & Answers:


Operator

Thank you. [Operator instructions] We have our first question from George Bose with KBW.

Mike Smyth -- KBW -- Analyst

Hey, guys. This is actually Mike Smyth on for Bose. Thanks for taking the question. Just a couple on book value.

How much of the 16.6% decline in book has the potential for recovery? And then as a follow-up, can you just provide any color on the change in book value during the month of July?

Anthony Rossiello -- Chief Financial Officer

Yeah, sure. So in terms of book value, we do have a slide on book value roll forward. And if you take a look, primarily all of the decrease in book value related to our warehouse portfolio. So in terms of your question, what could be recovered, it would be that portion, which is unrealized, primarily all warehouse.

And your second question in terms of an update, just from where we stand right now, we don't have the numbers finalized, but given the sentiment in the market and where spreads have moved a quarter end we believe book value slightly improved.

Mike Smyth -- KBW -- Analyst

Great. Great. That's good color. And then can you just help us get a sense for the current run rate earnings power of the portfolio? The $0.08 implies like a 3% ROE on adjusted book value.

So just wondering how should we be thinking about a normalized ROE on the business?

T.J. Durkin -- President

Yeah. I mean I think you're going to continue to see the capital that we raised last year be kind of moved from cash to loans on warehouse and now into kind of post-securitization ROEs and we're kind of in the middle of that conveyor belt. And so I think it should keep directionally climbing. I don't think we want to put an exact number on like a guidance on a run rate.

But that's what's happening organically in terms of the balance sheet and transforming into our income.

Mike Smyth -- KBW -- Analyst

Great. And then just one more. If we look at gain on sale margins on Slide 14, have you seen any changes in terms of the margins during the month of July?

T.J. Durkin -- President

It's probably early in the month of July. But if you think about there's been -- into the most recent rally, there's been some expansion in margin, although just given the broader volatility, there's -- the margins have been moving around with it. But we have generally been able to extract slightly more margin than looking back, but as mentioned, is fairly volatile.

Mike Smyth -- KBW -- Analyst

Great. Thanks a lot for taking the questions.

Operator

We have our next question from Trevor Cranston with JMP Securities.

Trevor Cranston -- JMP Securities -- Analyst

Great. Thanks. Looking at the return on equity targets you guys mentioned on securitized loans, there's kind of a wide range there from 14% to 25%. Where are you seeing loan pricing today and securitization execution? Can you maybe kind of generally comment on if you're kind of toward the higher end of that range or lower end or kind of what the current return opportunity is as it sits today? Thanks.

T.J. Durkin -- President

Our view it's snug in the middle of there. Realistically, obviously, if you look back at the last quarter, there's a lot of volatility around where you can place the debt in the securitized place. So that obviously is why you have such a wide range.

Trevor Cranston -- JMP Securities -- Analyst

OK. That makes sense. Got it. And then on the Arc Home results, obviously, there's value to you guys and the product generation coming from them.

But in terms of their operating earnings going forward with volume and margins where they're at today. Is there anything that can be done at Arc to kind of get the operating results up to like a breakeven type of level in terms of maybe expense savings or anything like that? Or would the expectation be that they're probably going to be operating in a kind of modest loss in the near term?

T.J. Durkin -- President

Yeah. I mean I think you're obviously seeing a lot of rightsizing going on at mortgage companies of all sizes. I think fortunately, Arc is a lot smaller from a headcount perspective, it didn't probably ramp up as much in terms of volumes and headcount in 2020 and 2021. So there's probably less rightsizing to do.

And as we continue to probably shift the asset mix of away from agency and into hopefully higher-margin non-agency that should help push the pendulum into profitability. I don't think we're not like we're miles and miles away. I think we're kind of operating on the cusp there. So it should be less work than some of the bigger platforms out there.

Trevor Cranston -- JMP Securities -- Analyst

Sure. OK. And then on the share buyback, obviously, it's pretty accretive buying back shares today. Can you talk about how you think about the company's balance between common and preferred equity when you're looking at share buybacks and if more preferred buybacks are also something that you guys are exploring currently?

David Roberts -- Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Hi, it's David Roberts. We certainly take into account the balance between common and preferred when we're thinking about common share repurchases. That's one of the considerations. But as you said at the beginning, a very large consideration is the discount that we can buy it at both to book value and where we ultimately think our earnings are going to be able to get to over the long term.

Trevor Cranston -- JMP Securities -- Analyst

OK. Makes sense. Appreciate the comments. Thank you.

Operator

We have our next question from Jason Stewart with JonesTrading.

Matthew Erdner -- JonesTrading -- Analyst

Hey, this is Matthew Erdner filling in for Jason. I know you guys mentioned the credit box kind of staying similar to other people are expanding. And could you provide a little more detail around how you guys are kind of looking at the same credit score or what the details with it that are?

Nick Smith -- Chief Investment Officer

Yeah. I think more high level, as people became very concerned with sort of convexity they chase coupon. And as they chase coupon, they sort of got adversely selected, if you will. That and you saw some guys just widening guidelines into this and making wider exceptions.

So that's really what we saw from others. We actually did the opposite and took this as an opportunity as people were providing less liquidity in the market became less competitive to dial in certain aspects of the guidelines. But generically, still very similar profile as previous quarters.

Matthew Erdner -- JonesTrading -- Analyst

Gotcha. And then I'm assuming that you guys originations and purchases are going to kind of remain at a constant level based on that credit box, and you don't really see much being taken away out of that?

Nick Smith -- Chief Investment Officer

Yeah. I mean, certainly, the demand side of the equation with refis being down and purchase activity being lower, we still expect similar to the rest of the market for volumes to generally be lower. But from a market share standpoint, we don't expect -- if anything, we expect to gain market share.

Matthew Erdner -- JonesTrading -- Analyst

Gotcha. Awesome. Thanks, guys.

Operator

[Operator instructions] We have our next question from Doug Harter with Credit Suisse.

Doug Harter -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Thanks. You have a decent amount of activity so far in the third quarter and a significant pipeline. Can you just talk about how much liquidity available cash ability to take leverage up kind of how much capacity you have to continue to buy assets with the current equity base?

T.J. Durkin -- President

Yeah, sure. I mean so from a financing perspective, Doug, we've got ample room on warehouse lines. I don't have the exact number in front of me, but we're nowhere near capacity there. And then I would think of it as the capital that we have currently invested in warehouses is kind of rotating in and out as we securitize and then continue to build that pipeline.

So we can continue our activity that we're doing by recycling that capital for, I think, quite some time. And I think we've got ample cash on the balance sheet of around $80 million today. So I think we've got a pretty good runway to keep executing the business plan.

Doug Harter -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

Got it. And in your commentary, I just want to make sure I understand it. The securitization, the 14% to 25% ROE, is that on duly acquired loans? And I guess, how would you view the return on the loans that currently sit on the warehouse line?

T.J. Durkin -- President

I think you can really -- it's a going-forward business but also when you think about the mark-to-market activity at that market activity resets you within those sort of returns or within that range. So I think you can look at it independently. If you're thinking about it from sort of where we acquired loans, backing out that mark to market, certainly, the returns are higher. But as mentioned in the prepared remarks, we do have the ability to refinance this debt three years out.

So some of that -- there is obviously optionality to being able to reset the debt and get closer to targeted returns on previous acquisitions.

Doug Harter -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

OK. That's helpful. Thank you.

Operator

And thank you. We have no further questions in queue. I will now turn the call over to our presenters for closing remarks.

Jenny Neslin -- General Counsel

Thank you to everyone for joining us and for your questions. Hope you enjoy the evening, and we'll speak to you next quarter. Thank you.

Operator

[Operator signoff]

Duration: 0 minutes

Call participants:

Jenny Neslin -- General Counsel

David Roberts -- Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

T.J. Durkin -- President

Nick Smith -- Chief Investment Officer

Anthony Rossiello -- Chief Financial Officer

Mike Smyth -- KBW -- Analyst

Trevor Cranston -- JMP Securities -- Analyst

Matthew Erdner -- JonesTrading -- Analyst

Doug Harter -- Credit Suisse -- Analyst

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