PASADENA, Calif .– (COMMERCIAL THREAD) – Western Asset Mortgage Capital Corporation (the “Company” (NYSE: WMC) today announced that its board of directors has declared a cash dividend of $ 0.06 per share for the fourth quarter of 2021. The today’s dividend is payable on January 26, 2022 to common shareholders of record on December 31, 2021, with an ex-dividend date of December 30, 2021.
In addition, the Company estimates that its book value per share under GAAP, as at November 30, 2021, was approximately $ 3.31. The estimated carrying amount as at November 30, 2021 under GAAP is unaudited, has not been verified or reviewed by our external auditors and is subject to normal quarterly reconciliation and other procedures. Additionally, the estimated book value is as of November 30, 2021 and does not include the dividend announced today. The GAAP carrying value will fluctuate depending on market conditions, the results of the Company’s operations and other factors. The Company’s current GAAP book value may be significantly different from the estimated GAAP book value as at November 30, 2021.
The Company provides the following business updates.
The Company announces that in consultation with its manager, Western Asset Management Company, LLC (the “Manager”), it intends to focus on investments related to residential real estate, including but not limited to limit, unqualified mortgages, RMBS and other related investments. The Company believes that this orientation will allow it to seize attractive market opportunities while maintaining alignment with the manager’s core competencies. The portfolio transition is expected to be completed within the next 12-18 months. The Company plans to exit commercial investments from its portfolio, although it may from time to time make commercial investments on an opportunistic basis.
The Manager will voluntarily waive 25% of its management fee only for the duration of the 2022 calendar year in order to support the earnings potential of the Company and its transition to a residential focused investment portfolio.
The Company has also extended its share buyback program as authorized by its Board of Directors. As part of the extended program, the Company is authorized to repurchase up to 3,000,000 ordinary shares until December 31, 2023. The previous authorization was to expire on December 31, 2021. Any purchase made under the program will be effected in the open market, in privately traded transactions, or in accordance with any trading plan that may be adopted in accordance with Securities and Exchange Commission Rules 10b5-1 and 10b-18. The authorization does not oblige the Company to acquire any particular amount of common stock, or any shares at all, and the program may be suspended or discontinued at the discretion of the Company without notice.
General management objectives include increasing the equity base of the company to help reduce the expense ratio of the company and increase investment capital, but from time to time when stocks are trading at At a lower price, repurchasing shares can generate value for our shareholders. The time, manner, price and amount of any future redemptions will be determined by the Company in its discretion and will be subject to economic and market conditions, the share price, applicable legal requirements and other factors. .
In addition, during the fourth quarter, the Company:
Repurchased a total principal amount of $ 8.0 million of its 2022 Notes at approximately 1% premium over face value, plus accrued interest.
Repurchased 479,808 common shares at an average price of $ 2.25.
ABOUT WESTERN ASSET MORTGAGE CAPITAL CORPORATION
Western Asset Mortgage Capital Corporation is a real estate investment trust that invests in, acquires and manages a diversified portfolio of assets comprising whole residential loans, commercial loans, non-agency CMBS, non-agency RMBS, transfer securities GSE risk and to a lesser extent RMBS Agency, CMBS Agency and ABS. The investment strategy of the Company may change, and for example is changing as described above, subject to the investment guidelines set out by the Company, and is based on the perspective of its manager Western Asset Management Company , LLC as to what mix of portfolio assets it believes will provide the Company with the best risk-reward opportunities at all times. The Company is managed and externally advised by Western Asset Management Company, LLC, an investment adviser registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission and a wholly owned subsidiary of Franklin Resources, Inc. Please visit the Company’s website at ‘address www.westernassetmcc.com.
This press release contains statements which may constitute “forward-looking statements”. For these statements, the Company asserts the safe harbor protections for the forward-looking statements contained in these sections. Forward-looking statements are subject to substantial risks and uncertainties, many of which are difficult to predict and generally beyond the control of the Company. In particular, it is difficult to fully assess the impact of COVID-19 at present due, among other factors, to the uncertainty regarding the severity and duration of the epidemic at the national and international levels and the effectiveness of federal, state and local government efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19 and respond to its direct and indirect impact on the economy and economic activity of the United States. Other factors are described in the Risk Factors section of the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the period ended December 31, 2020 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). The Company assumes no obligation to update these statements for revisions or changes after the date of this posting, except as required by law.