Annaly Capital earnings double in the first quarter
Annaly Capital (NLY) is the latest real estate investment trust to report increased profits in the first quarter, doubling earnings from one year ago. The New York-based REIT reported net income of $699.9 million, or 92 cents per share, up from $281.1 million in the first quarter of last year. PennyMac, another REIT, also reported boosted earnings for the quarter. Annaly issued more than 172 million shares of common stock during the quarter, raising $2.9 billion for mostly mortgage-backed securities investments. Meanwhile, it unloaded $4.2 billion in MBS and agency holdings for a net gain of $27.2 million. Fixed-rate MBS and agency debentures made up 88% of the company's portfolio at the end of the first quarter. And substantially all of the company’s investment securities were Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae MBS. These carry either an actual or implied triple-A rating, the company said. Annaly CEO Michael Farrell said the focus going forward is preparing the portfolio for a "wide-range of outcomes" in an uncertain market. "During the quarter, we were able to take advantage of the attractive investment environment and grow our balance sheet in a prudent manner," Farrell said. "We expect market conditions to continue to reflect the uncertainty of regulatory, fiscal and monetary policy outcomes, as well as overall domestic and global economic conditions." Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter @JonAPrior.