Annaly Capital Management, Inc. Reports 4th Quarter 2020 Results
February 10, 2021 at 16:15 PM EST
Annaly Capital Management, Inc. (NYSE: NLY) ("Annaly" or the "Company") today announced its financial results for the quarter and year ended December 31, 2020.
Fourth Quarter 2020 Highlights
Full-Year 2020 Highlights
Investment and Strategy
Financing and Capital
Corporate Responsibility & Governance
“Annaly delivered strong results in the fourth quarter of 2020, marking the end of a challenging year where we successfully navigated unprecedented volatility to deliver $1.4 billion in dividends and a positive economic return to our shareholders,” remarked David Finkelstein, Annaly’s Chief Executive Officer and Chief Investment Officer. “Looking forward, our portfolio is well-positioned with low leverage and ample liquidity to capitalize on the improving outlook for residential mortgage finance. Agency MBS remains attractive given continued low funding costs, accommodative Federal Reserve policy, and a recent steepening of the yield curve. Further, our Residential Credit Group continues to build momentum, finishing 2020 as the third largest non-bank issuer of new origination RMBS, and we believe this business will be a key growth opportunity in the coming year.
“Capital management remains a priority and we were pleased to significantly lower our cost of capital with our most recent preferred redemption and renew our common stock repurchase program following $209 million in repurchases in 2020. We will continue to look to create value for our shareholders wherever possible and believe our stable and attractive yield and current valuation discount provide a compelling investment opportunity,” continued Mr. Finkelstein.
“Lastly, during a year of great challenges, we have made an effort to lead with purpose and impact. We are proud of our accomplishments in 2020, including publishing our inaugural corporate responsibility report, completing our management internalization and increasing our corporate philanthropy efforts to support those affected by COVID-19. We are steadfast in our commitment to furthering our corporate governance enhancements, responsible investments, corporate philanthropy initiatives and culture of inclusion.”
The following table summarizes certain key performance indicators as of and for the quarters ended December 31, 2020, September 30, 2020 and December 31, 2019:
This news release and our public documents to which we refer contain or incorporate by reference certain forward-looking statements which are based on various assumptions (some of which are beyond our control) and may be identified by reference to a future period or periods or by the use of forward-looking terminology, such as "may," "will," "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "continue," or similar terms or variations on those terms or the negative of those terms. Actual results could differ materially from those set forth in forward-looking statements due to a variety of factors, including, but not limited to, risks and uncertainties related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including as related to adverse economic conditions on real estate-related assets and financing conditions; changes in interest rates; changes in the yield curve; changes in prepayment rates; the availability of mortgage-backed securities and other securities for purchase; the availability of financing and, if available, the terms of any financing; changes in the market value of our assets; changes in business conditions and the general economy; our ability to grow our commercial real estate business; our ability to grow our residential credit business; our ability to grow our middle market lending business; credit risks related to our investments in credit risk transfer securities, residential mortgage-backed securities and related residential mortgage credit assets, commercial real estate assets and corporate debt; risks related to investments in mortgage servicing rights; our ability to consummate any contemplated investment opportunities; changes in government regulations or policy affecting our business; our ability to maintain our qualification as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes; and our ability to maintain our exemption from registration under the Investment Company Act of 1940. For a discussion of the risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and any subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q. We do not undertake, and specifically disclaim any obligation, to publicly release the result of any revisions which may be made to any forward-looking statements to reflect the occurrence of anticipated or unanticipated events or circumstances after the date of such statements, except as required by law.
Annaly is a leading diversified capital manager that invests in and finances residential and commercial assets. Annaly’s principal business objective is to generate net income for distribution to its stockholders and to optimize its returns through prudent management of its diversified investment strategies. Annaly is internally managed and has elected to be taxed as a real estate investment trust, or REIT, for federal income tax purposes. Additional information on the company can be found at www.annaly.com.
Annaly routinely posts important information for investors on the Company’s website, www.annaly.com. Annaly intends to use this webpage as a means of disclosing material, non-public information, for complying with the Company’s disclosure obligations under Regulation FD and to post and update investor presentations and similar materials on a regular basis. Annaly encourages investors, analysts, the media and others interested in Annaly to monitor the Company’s website, in addition to following Annaly’s press releases, SEC filings, public conference calls, presentations, webcasts and other information it posts from time to time on its website. To sign-up for email-notifications, please visit the "Investors" section of our website, www.annaly.com, then click on "Investor Resources" and select "Email Alerts" to complete the email notification form. The information contained on, or that may be accessed through, the Company’s webpage is not incorporated by reference into, and is not a part of, this document.
The Company prepares a supplemental investor presentation and a financial summary for the benefit of its shareholders. Both the Fourth Quarter 2020 Investor Presentation and the Fourth Quarter 2020 Financial Summary can be found at the Company’s website (www.annaly.com) in the Investors section under Investor Presentations.
The Company will hold the fourth quarter 2020 earnings conference call on February 11, 2021 at 9:00 a.m. Eastern Time. Participants are encouraged to pre-register for the conference call to receive a unique PIN to gain immediate access to the call and bypass the live operator. Pre-registration may be completed by accessing the pre-registration link found on the homepage or "Investors" section of the Company's website at www.annaly.com, or by using the following link: https://dpregister.com/sreg/10151497/e0f4bfb408. Pre-registration may be completed at any time, including up to and after the call start time.
For participants who would like to join the call but have not pre-registered, access is available by dialing 844-735-3317 within the U.S., or 412-317-5703 internationally, and requesting the "Annaly Earnings Call."
There will also be an audio webcast of the call on www.annaly.com. A replay of the call will be available for one week following the conference call. The replay number is 877-344-7529 for domestic calls and 412-317-0088 for international calls and the conference passcode is 10151497. If you would like to be added to the e-mail distribution list, please visit www.annaly.com, click on Investors, then select Email Alerts and complete the email notification form.
Key Financial Data
The following table presents key metrics of the Company’s portfolio, liabilities and hedging positions, and performance as of and for the quarters ended December 31, 2020, September 30, 2020, and December 31, 2019:
The following table contains additional information on our residential and commercial investments as of the dates presented:
Non-GAAP Financial Measures
To supplement its consolidated financial statements, which are prepared and presented in accordance with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP"), the Company provides the following non-GAAP measures:
These measures should not be considered a substitute for, or superior to, financial measures computed in accordance with GAAP. While intended to offer a fuller understanding of the Company’s results and operations, non-GAAP financial measures also have limitations. For example, the Company may calculate its non-GAAP metrics, such as core earnings (excluding PAA), or the PAA, differently than its peers making comparative analysis difficult. Additionally, in the case of non-GAAP measures that exclude the PAA, the amount of amortization expense excluding the PAA is not necessarily representative of the amount of future periodic amortization nor is it indicative of the term over which the Company will amortize the remaining unamortized premium. Changes to actual and estimated prepayments will impact the timing and amount of premium amortization and, as such, both GAAP and non-GAAP results.
These non-GAAP measures provide additional detail to enhance investor understanding of the Company’s period-over-period operating performance and business trends, as well as for assessing the Company’s performance versus that of industry peers. Additional information pertaining to the Company’s use of these non-GAAP financial measures, including discussion of how each such measure may be useful to investors, and reconciliations to their most directly comparable GAAP results are provided below.
Core earnings (excluding PAA), core earnings (excluding PAA) attributable to common stockholders, core earnings (excluding PAA) per average common share and annualized core return on average equity (excluding PAA)
The Company's principal business objective is to generate net income for distribution to its stockholders and to preserve capital through prudent selection of investments and continuous management of its portfolio. The Company generates net income by earning a net interest spread on its investment portfolio, which is a function of interest income from its investment portfolio less financing, hedging and operating costs. Core earnings (excluding PAA), which is defined as the sum of (a) economic net interest income, (b) TBA dollar roll income and CMBX coupon income, (c) realized amortization of MSRs, (d) other income (loss) (excluding depreciation expense related to commercial real estate and amortization of intangibles, non-core income allocated to equity method investments and other non-core components of other income (loss)), (e) general and administrative expenses (excluding transaction expenses and non-recurring items), and (f) income taxes (excluding the income tax effect of non-core income (loss) items) and excludes (g) the premium amortization adjustment ("PAA") representing the cumulative impact on prior periods, but not the current period, of quarter-over-quarter changes in estimated long-term prepayment speeds related to the Company’s Agency mortgage-backed securities is used by the Company's management and, the Company believes, used by analysts and investors to measure its progress in achieving its principal business objective.
The Company seeks to fulfill this objective through a variety of factors including portfolio construction, the degree of market risk exposure and related hedge profile, and the use and forms of leverage, all while operating within the parameters of the Company's capital allocation policy and risk governance framework.
The Company believes these non-GAAP measures provide management and investors with additional details regarding the Company’s underlying operating results and investment portfolio trends by (i) making adjustments to account for the disparate reporting of changes in fair value where certain instruments are reflected in GAAP net income (loss) while others are reflected in other comprehensive income (loss) and (ii) by excluding certain unrealized, non-cash or episodic components of GAAP net income (loss) in order to provide additional transparency into the operating performance of the Company’s portfolio. Annualized core return on average equity (excluding PAA), which is calculated by dividing core earnings (excluding PAA) over average stockholders’ equity, provides investors with additional detail on the core earnings (excluding PAA) generated by the Company’s invested equity capital.
The following table presents a reconciliation of GAAP financial results to non-GAAP core earnings (excluding PAA) for the periods presented:
From time to time, the Company enters into TBA forward contracts as an alternate means of investing in and financing Agency mortgage-backed securities. A TBA contract is an agreement to purchase or sell, for future delivery, an Agency mortgage-backed security with a specified issuer, term and coupon. A TBA dollar roll represents a transaction where TBA contracts with the same terms but different settlement dates are simultaneously bought and sold. The TBA contract settling in the later month typically prices at a discount to the earlier month contract with the difference in price commonly referred to as the "drop". The drop is a reflection of the expected net interest income from an investment in similar Agency mortgage-backed securities, net of an implied financing cost, that would be foregone as a result of settling the contract in the later month rather than in the earlier month. The drop between the current settlement month price and the forward settlement month price occurs because in the TBA dollar roll market, the party providing the financing is the party that would retain all principal and interest payments accrued during the financing period. Accordingly, TBA dollar roll income generally represents the economic equivalent of the net interest income earned on the underlying Agency mortgage-backed security less an implied financing cost.
TBA dollar roll transactions are accounted for under GAAP as a series of derivatives transactions. The fair value of TBA derivatives is based on methods similar to those used to value Agency mortgage-backed securities. The Company records TBA derivatives at fair value on its Consolidated Statements of Financial Condition and recognizes periodic changes in fair value in Net gains (losses) on other derivatives in the Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income (Loss), which includes both unrealized and realized gains and losses on derivatives (excluding interest rate swaps).
TBA dollar roll income is calculated as the difference in price between two TBA contracts with the same terms but different settlement dates multiplied by the notional amount of the TBA contract. Although accounted for as derivatives, TBA dollar rolls capture the economic equivalent of net interest income, or carry, on the underlying Agency mortgage-backed security (interest income less an implied cost of financing). TBA dollar roll income is reported as a component of Net gains (losses) on other derivatives in the Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income (Loss).
The CMBX index is a synthetic tradable index referencing a basket of 25 commercial mortgage-backed securities ("CMBS") of a particular rating and vintage. The CMBX index allows investors to take a long exposure (referred to as selling protection) or short exposure (referred to as buying protection) on the respective basket of CMBS securities and is structured as a "pay-as-you-go" contract whereby the protection buyer pays to the protection seller a standardized running coupon on the contracted notional amount. The Company reports income (expense) on CMBX positions in Net gains (losses) on other derivatives in the Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income (Loss). The coupon payments received or paid on CMBX positions are equivalent to interest income (expense) and therefore included in core earnings (excluding PAA).
Premium Amortization Expense
In accordance with GAAP, the Company amortizes or accretes premiums or discounts into interest income for its Agency mortgage-backed securities, excluding interest-only securities, multifamily and reverse mortgages, taking into account estimates of future principal prepayments in the calculation of the effective yield. The Company recalculates the effective yield as differences between anticipated and actual prepayments occur. Using third-party model and market information to project future cash flows and expected remaining lives of securities, the effective interest rate determined for each security is applied as if it had been in place from the date of the security’s acquisition. The amortized cost of the security is then adjusted to the amount that would have existed had the new effective yield been applied since the acquisition date. The adjustment to amortized cost is offset with a charge or credit to interest income. Changes in interest rates and other market factors will impact prepayment speed projections and the amount of premium amortization recognized in any given period.
The Company’s GAAP metrics include the unadjusted impact of amortization and accretion associated with this method. Certain of the Company’s non-GAAP metrics exclude the effect of the PAA, which quantifies the component of premium amortization representing the cumulative impact on prior periods, but not the current period, of quarter-over-quarter changes in estimated long-term CPR.
The following table illustrates the impact of the PAA on premium amortization expense for the Company’s Residential Securities portfolio and residential securities transferred or pledged to securitization vehicles, for the quarters ended December 31, 2020, September 30, 2020, and December 31, 2019:
Interest income (excluding PAA), economic interest expense and economic net interest income (excluding PAA)
Interest income (excluding PAA) represents interest income excluding the effect of the PAA, and serves as the basis for deriving average yield on interest earning assets (excluding PAA), net interest spread (excluding PAA) and net interest margin (excluding PAA), which are discussed below. The Company believes this measure provides management and investors with additional detail to enhance their understanding of the Company’s operating results and trends by excluding the component of premium amortization expense representing the cumulative impact on prior periods, but not the current period, of quarter-over-quarter changes in estimated long-term prepayment speeds related to the Company’s Agency mortgage-backed securities (other than interest-only securities, multifamily and reverse mortgages), which can obscure underlying trends in the performance of the portfolio.
Economic interest expense includes GAAP interest expense and the net interest component of interest rate swaps. The Company uses interest rate swaps to manage its exposure to changing interest rates on its repurchase agreements by economically hedging cash flows associated with these borrowings. Accordingly, adding the net interest component of interest rate swaps to interest expense, as computed in accordance with GAAP, reflects the total contractual interest expense and thus, provides investors with additional information about the cost of the Company's financing strategy. The Company may use market agreed coupon (“MAC”) interest rate swaps in which the Company may receive or make a payment at the time of entering into such interest rate swap to compensate for the off-market nature of such interest rate swap. In accordance with GAAP, upfront payments associated with MAC interest rate swaps are not reflected in the net interest component of interest rate swaps in the Company's Consolidated Statements of Comprehensive Income (Loss). The Company did not enter into any MAC interest rate swaps during the quarter ended December 31, 2020.
Similarly, economic net interest income (excluding PAA), as computed below, provides investors with additional information to enhance their understanding of the net economics of our primary business operations.
Average yield on interest earning assets (excluding PAA), net interest spread (excluding PAA), net interest margin (excluding PAA) and average economic cost of interest bearing liabilities
Net interest spread (excluding PAA), which is the difference between the average yield on interest earning assets (excluding PAA) and the average economic cost of interest bearing liabilities, which represents annualized economic interest expense divided by average interest bearing liabilities, and net interest margin (excluding PAA), which is calculated as the sum of interest income (excluding PAA) plus TBA dollar roll income and CMBX coupon income less interest expense and the net interest component of interest rate swaps divided by the sum of average interest earning assets plus average TBA contract and CMBX balances, provide management with additional measures of the Company’s profitability that management relies upon in monitoring the performance of the business.
Disclosure of these measures, which are presented below, provides investors with additional detail regarding how management evaluates the Company’s performance.