MTGE used 4.7x average leverage during the stub period, but closed the period with 7.8x leverage (compared to 7.7x leverage at AGNC on the same date). Net interest spread in the stub quarter was 2.13%, but at quarter-close it was 2.41%. Increasing leverage and increasing spreads should mean dramatic increases in income. That is, up from 10.01% to 18.80%. MTGE hasn't got the fat investment sizes with which AGNC can manage transaction costs, but (with leverage) has $1.7B to work with.
"With book calue preservation in mind, and given the volatility and liquidity conditions in the credit markets, we have been cautious on non-agency investments. We expect to patiently develop this portfolio as compelling opportunities arise."This is exactly what I was hoping for in MTGE: a portfolio that mirrors AGNC's successful formula, but keeps its eyes peeled for material mispricing in assets more susceptible to fear-based avoidance (as opposed to fundamentals-based avoidance) than the agency-backed instruments whose principal and interest, being guaranteed by the federal government, tend to assuage terror regardless the fundamentals of the asset bundle. The non-agency opportunities are thus a nice place to get capital appreciation: a mispriced asset will, in time, end up valued at its worth. (As Buffett has said, markets may be a popularity contest in the short run but in the long run they are a weighing machine.) Carefully scrutinizing opportunity rather than rushing in is exactly how I'd like to see non-agency assets approached.
- Jeff Winkler, S.V.P. & Co-Chief Investment Officer
The price for this opportunity in MTGE is a 0.25% increase in management fee over the fee paid by AGNC. It's described here. ACAS, which had hoped to issue a lot more shares of MTGE than actually changed hands on IPO day, may want to raise some more money in order to support big deals in really mispriced non-agency bundles – but for my money, ACAS just wants to be ready to capitalize on opportunity and hasn't got a deal it's dying to do or it'd have done it.