MFA Dec 2019 6.000 call

OPR - OPR Delayed Price. Currency in USD
1.6700
0.0000 (0.00%)
As of 11:40AM EDT. Market open.
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Previous Close1.6700
Open1.6700
Bid1.5000
Ask1.7500
Strike6.00
Expire Date2019-12-20
Day's Range1.6700 - 1.6700
Contract RangeN/A
Volume10
Open Interest10
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  • Thomson Reuters StreetEvents

    Edited Transcript of MFA earnings conference call or presentation 6-Nov-19 3:00pm GMT

    Q3 2019 MFA Financial Inc Earnings Call

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    Real estate has long been a traditional haven for investors seeking reliable returns. Ownership of real property brings with it control of the structures on the land, and the ability to develop or improve the property. And real estate is always in demand – whether its people looking for homes, or business needing office or factory space, properties will always have customers.Bring on the real estate investment trust (REIT). These are companies formed to acquire, own, and operate real properties. REITs are frequently constituted as publicly traded companies, as acquisition of property requires access to liquid capital, which they raise through the sale of stock. Partly to attract investors, and partly in adherence to tax regulations on investment trusts, REITs routinely pay out high dividends on their stock.In this article, we take a look at three REIT companies. All three make their money from the value of land and its development, and all three are clobbering the S&P 500 average dividend return of 2%. It also doesn't hurt that each of the stocks has amassed support from analysts over the last three months to earn a “buy” rating. Let’s open up the TipRanks database and get the lowdown.Colony Capital (CLNY)Colony is an investment firm, based in Los Angeles. The company’s main focus is on two property portfolios in gaming and resorts. Colony owns casino and hotel properties in Atlantic City and Las Vegas, as well as luxury hotels in the Raffles and Fairmont chains. In recent months, Colony has been selling off some properties and acquiring others, as part of a plan to divest itself of non-core portfolio item.For the third quarter, CLNY reported an FFO (funds from operations – a measure of operational cash flow sometimes used by REITs instead of reporting earnings per share) of 19 cents, 26% higher than the forecasts. Revenues showed a mixed picture – at $40 million, they beat the forecast by 16%, but still came in significantly lower than the year-ago figure of $60 million.This firm currently pays out a dividend of 11 cents per quarter, so the 19 cents FFO is more than enough to maintain the payment. The annualized payout, 44 cents, is equivalent to a yield of 8.94%, four and a half times the S&P average. Writing from JMP Securities, 4-stary analyst Mitchell Germain is impressed by Colony’s recent portfolio moves. He notes particularly “Acquisition of Digital Bridge for $329M, brought on a well-regarded investment manager, erected a leadership transition plan, as the head of Digital Bridge is set to become CLNY’s CEO in 18-24 months, and initiated a strategy to evolve to a digital-heavy investment strategy.”Germain rates CLNY an Outperform (i.e Buy) along with an $8 price target, which suggests over 60% upside for the stock. (To watch Germain's track record, click here)Randy Binner, of B. Riley FBR agrees, both on the bullish stance and the $8 price target. Binner writes, “There has been a series of recent shareholder-friendly moves including the NRE and industrial sales and the Digital Bridge acquisition/CLNY 2.0 pivot. These structural changes will remain the main focus and will determine where the dividend settles out… there is significant intrinsic value in CLNY's balance sheet…”Germain and Binner have given Colony its only recent analyst evaluations, explaining the stock’s Moderate Buy status. Shares are selling for a low $4.92, and the price target is $8. (See Colony stock analysis on TipRanks)Landmark Infrastructure Partners (LMRK)Landmark takes a slightly different approach to the REIT niche. It buys up land and properties that are in demand for wireless communication, billboards, and green energy infrastructure. In other words, Landmark owns the ground under a cellular tower or a windfarm power station. The company has properties across the United States as well as in Canada, the Caribbean, and Australia.Landmark is always engaged in expanding its property portfolio. In the recent Q3 report, the company noted that it spent $42 million acquiring 134 assets which are expected to contribute $3.4 million in annual rents. The company is also expanding into retail kiosks, from which vendors will pay rent. There are some 300 such kiosks in the Dallas Area Rapid Transit region. LMRK generated $14.4 million in rents in Q3, down 18% year-over-year and 4% sequentially, but still sufficient to give a 20 cent per share FFO. Total rental income is described by the CFO as “stable and predictable.” LMRK stock is up 30% year-to-date.LMRK pays out an annualized dividend of $1.47 per share, or 49 cents per quarter. This makes the yield an impressive 9.77%. While much higher than the FFO per share, it’s important to note here that REITs are subject to tax regulations requiring them to pay out a higher share of income in dividends than other publicly traded companies. Landmark has kept its dividend steady at 49 cents per share quarterly for the last two years, regardless of FFO fluctuations. The company depends on the predictability of its rent income to keep the dividend sustainable.Liam Burke, analyst from B. Riley FBR, sees a turnaround in LMRK’s overall profitability in the near future. He writes, “Third quarter 2019 will be the final quarter of negative Y/Y rental revenue growth and the company should report traditional organic rental growth rates of low single-digits beginning 4Q19… Management is keeping keep the payout constant until distributable cash catches up to distributions, which should occur in 2020…” Burke’s $20 price target suggests a 32% upside for LMRK shares. (To watch Burke's track record, click here)With three "buys" set in recent weeks, LMRK holds a Strong Buy from the analyst consensus. The average price target of $18.67 is 24% higher than the current share price of $15. (See Landmark stock analysis on TipRanks)MFA Financial (MFA)MFA focuses on residential mortgage assets. This includes mortgage-backed securities as well as whole loans. Residential mortgages are considered a low-risk security, as the loan is backed by the value of the home and property.In its most recent earnings report, for Q3, MFA showed an EPS of 20 cents per share. This was 11% higher than expected, and 1 cent higher than the year-ago quarter. Revenues were listed at $56.9 million, below both the quarterly forecast and the year-ago quarter. Despite the downer news for Q3, MFA shares are up 14% in 2019. While below the S&P gain of 24%, this is still considered a ‘slow and steady’ appreciation.MFA has been paying out a steady 20 cent quarterly dividend for the last three years. The ratio is 100%, meaning that as of the current quarter, the company’s full earnings are returned to shareholders. This is an attractive feature for potential investors. In theory, it should be difficult for the company to sustain – but as an REIT, MFA is required to maintain the high payout ratio. The dividend yield is a robust 10.47%, more than 5x the average of S&P listed companies.Wedbush analyst Henry Coffey started coverage of this stock recently, noting, “This is another quarter where MFA has been able to cover their dividend and demonstrated the benefit of their focus on managing credit risk over speeds and spread risk, and their focus on the whole loan/performing loan purchase program. Their success at this, in comparison to many of the mREIT peers, is notable.”Coffey rates the stock a Buy and his $8.25 price target suggests a modest 8% upside to the stock. (To watch Coffey's track record, click here)MFA Financial has slipped under most analysts’ radar; the stock’s Moderate Buy consensus is based on just two recent ratings. With shares trading at $7.64, the $8.13 average price target suggests room for a 6% upside. (See MFA stock analysis on TipRanks)

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    Every industry has its disruptors. The old and established leaders get comfortable doing things the same way -- it has worked for decades, so why change? Sometimes disruptors come with new ideas and approaches. Other times they have new technologies that can range from an app to a completely new means of operating.Source: Shutterstock One example that I use on a daily basis involves artificial intelligence (AI). I have a Bloomberg Terminal, which is a vital tool for pulling all sorts of data and information on any economy or market as well as any stock, bond or other security. It also comes with over 2,700 journalists around the globe that are generating news and other stories each and every day. But interestingly, Bloomberg has adopted AI which combs news releases and economic data releases. Then its army of robotic writers create an increasing percentage of its posted stories.There shouldn't be anything subjective in the robotic writing, but you never know how this will develop. By the way, I am not a robot.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips AI and Fintech StocksBanking is getting it worse. Financial technology (Fintech) companies continue to roll out non-bank payment, loan and deposit apps. These are increasingly making consumer banking with traditional banks less necessary, if not more costly. And even mortgages can be applied for or refinanced via apps.This has led many newer stocks to grab investor attention, including Square (NYSE:SQ) with its alternative mobile payment and point-of-sale services. It many be gathering new adopters, with revenue up over the trailing year by 49%, but it has negative operating margins running at -1.1% which in turn is delivering a loss on shareholder equity of -4.7%. * 7 Deeply Discounted Energy Stocks to Buy And dividends? Not with Square's cash burn. No wonder that in the trailing year, insiders have been reporting millions upon millions of shares sold, not bought. Bad indicator.Then there's Fiserv (NASDAQ:FISV) stock, which provides behind-the-scenes services and systems to alt-financial fintech companies. This company is a bit more responsible, with operating margins running at 30.1% which in turn is helping the return on equity to reach a current 35.6%. But its sales are anemic, with gains over the trailing year of only 2.2%.And it doesn't have much cash on hand, putting it in credit jeopardy in the short term. And the stock is valued at 16.4 times its book value which is has actually dropped by 42.6% to a current value of $6.48 per share from where it stood back in 2017.Again, no wonder that over the trailing year, that there were 20 sellers in management and the board -- again not a vote of confidence. And dividends? Not with the cash trouble and short-term credit woes. Instead, twice in the past 10 years, Fiserv has had to do two reverse 2 for 1 splits to keep the stock price up to avoid regulatory and market scrutiny. Better Alt-Financials With Better FintechFintech might be a good disrupter for beating traditional banks, but it's not so rewarding for investors -- especially without dividend income.But what is really beating banks comes from three obscure bits of Congressional legislation: The Investment Companies Act of 1940, The Small Business Investment Incentive Act of 1980 and The Cigar Excise Tax Extension Act of 1960.The Investment Companies Act established holding companies and funds, which allowed companies to own financial assets beyond just plant and equipment like operating companies. The Small Business Investment Incentives Act provided companies beyond banks to lend and own loans and other financing instruments from public and private companies, which brought needed loans to a stifled banking market. And the Cigar Excise Tax Extension Act had embedded in it the legal and tax structure which enabled real estate investment trusts (REITs). Business Development CompaniesBack in the late 1970's, inflation was out of control, driving interest rates to the moon and driving banks to be reticent about lending. So, the 1980 legislation allowed non-banks to operate as investment companies which could make loans and invest in loans. This began what is largely known as Business Development Companies (BDCs), which also do not have to pay traditional corporate income taxes.BDCs have been a very successful business model over the past many years. Banks have been strangled with low interest rates, which limit their net interest margins (NIM). This margin is the difference between what they pay in deposits against what they earn from loans. And regulations post 2007-2008 have stifled them with costly compliance. Even with relief over the past three years, much still needs to be done to unburden banks.Better than Banks: MVIS BDC Index Total Return Source MVIS & BloombergBDCs are outside much regulatory purviews and they don't do deposits. And lower interest rates enable them to fund themselves at lower rates through various non-banking means such as the bond and credit markets. And it shows in the performance of the MVIS BDC Index generating a return year to date of 21.53% including an average trailing tax-advantaged dividend yield of 9.72%.Moreover, BDCs also participate in the business loan market. And while there can be some shadows in this part of the credit market, the well-run and well-capitalized companies can participate in senior loans, which BDCs can participate in for their portfolio assets.Senior Loan Debt Index Source Palmer Square & BloombergSenior loans continue to perform well, even with some pullbacks. Such was the case with a drop in liquidity during the closing weeks of last year.In the model portfolios of my Profitable Investing, I have a great BDC in Hercules Capital (NYSE:HTGC). Hercules is based in Palo Alto, California, with offices around the nation. It focuses on working with technology companies and has a good track record of financing startups through to become bold-faced names in the tech market. It makes loans and provides other financing and also takes equity participation in its portfolio companies. It then works with them like bankers used to do by guiding them along to an exit strategy of being bought or through an IPO.Net interest margin (NIM) is ample at 8.9% and the efficiency ratio is good at 52.5% (the lower the ratio, the greater the profitability). Revenues are up 8.8% for the trailing year and it feeds a nice annual dividend stream including regular special distributions yielding 10.1%.The Profitable Investing portfolio also has Main Street Capital (NYSE:MAIN). This BDC focuses on more mundane small-to-middle-market companies with lending and other financing. It has wide financial margin and an efficiency ratio of an amazing 8.2%. and it pays an annual dividend, including regular special distributions, yielding 6.7%.Then there is my recommended TPG Specialty Lending (NYSE:TSLX). This company provides financing and capital to a variety of companies, including loan assets in its portfolio. Part of the famous TPG Capital formally called Texas Pacific Group which is one of the largest and more successful private equity firms in the world -- TPG Specialty draws great talent and resources from its affiliate.Revenues are up on a tear with the trailing year climbing by 24.2%. Its NIM is running at 10% and it keeps its efficiency ratio humming at a profitable 31.5%.TPG Specialty Lending (TSLX) Longer Term Total Return Source BloombergThe company has generated a return of 87.8% over the trailing five years for an average annual equivalent of 13.4%.It pays regular dividends quarterly, providing a yield of 7.5%. But it also regularly pays additional dividends from ongoing profits throughout the year for a current annual yield of 8.8%. Another Proven Bank DisruptorBanks used to be big in the mortgage business. That has been changing, particular post-2007-2008. Now others are in the market to originate and own mortgages. Inside my model portfolios of Profitable Investing, I have MFA Financial (NYSE:MFA) which is structured as a REIT under the Cigar Excise legislation noted above. MFA owns and runs a mortgage portfolio which in turn fuels an ample dividend yielding 11%. And it has proven itself to work during times of adversary including doing pretty well in the midst of the 2007-2008 financial crisis.Over the past 10 years, MFA has delivered a return of 213.48% for an average annual equivalent of 12.09%. Buy it in a taxable account as 20% of its dividends qualify as deductible from income tax liabilities thanks to the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act of 2017, making the payout distributions even more attractive after taxes.And now that I've presented my alternative Alt-Financials for more dividends and price gains, perhaps you might like to see more of my market research and recommendations for further safer growth and bigger reliable income. For more - look at my Profitable Investing. Click here to learn more: https://profitableinvesting.investorplace.com/Neil George is the editor of Profitable Investing and does not have any holdings in the securities mentioned above. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Deeply Discounted Energy Stocks to Buy * 7 Stocks to Buy In a Flat Market * 10 Stocks to Buy to Ride China's Emerging Wealth The post 4 Fintech Alternatives to Square & Fiserv with Big Dividends appeared first on InvestorPlace.

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