Answered his own phone, no voice mail, no secretary other than the switchboard operator I gave the extension number to.
I couched my question carefully that I wasn't trying to get any unannounced information, but I asked him to confirm that WMC still had the intent to issue quarterly dividends. He was very nice and genial, said "yes. . . we just haven't announced the first-quarter ex-dividend date yet."
He then volunteered a strong hint that the ANNOUNCEMENT would be this week, before the end of the month, and then told me that the ex-date normally follows by about a week. That tells me the ex- and record-dates, as well as the payable, may actually fall into the second quarter, though he definitely called this the "first quarter dividend." That will foul up my quarterly books a little, but as long as it is
(1) legal, and (2) all in the same year, I guess I can live with it. We ended the call by me asking if I should just check the press releases for the rest of the week and he said yes, or the company's web site.
If there is any problem or interruption of the divvy, he didn't betray it in our chat.
MFA just announced their regular dividend today.
I recall WMC's management saying that they were going to pay the dividend on what they earned and not smooth it out (ala AGNC and MTGE). We saw that was the case in the fourth quarter when they added the special dividend.
If that is the case, maybe they are waiting until close to the end of this quarter to get their computation of estimated taxable income as accurate as possible?
I planted a bug in the board room hoping to discover proprietary discussions, but all the bug would pick up was the sound of a woman's heels across the hardwood floor, some rustling of fabric, murmurs I could not attenuate, and after 23 minutes a squeal of delight. Sounds like a fun place to work. I hope it was a woman's heels, anyway.