Thornburg Delays Dividend; Cites ‘Significant Disruption’ In Mortgage Market

Following up on yesterday’s post covering Thornburg Mortgage, the company said late yesterday that it will postpone payment of a $0.68 per share dividend to Sept. 17 due to significant trouble in the current mortgage market (hat tip to HW reader Patrick, who saw this coming well before it was announced). By September 17, the company said it will have received its scheduled monthly mortgage payments for August and will have had more opportunity to manage what it characterized as a “difficult environment.” From the press statement:

The Board of Directors said it took this action in response to significant disruptions in the mortgage market which resulted in the sudden and unprecedented decline in the market prices of its AAA-rated mortgage securities that began on August 9, 2007 and subsequent increase in margin calls related to its repurchase agreement financings on those securities. There have also been disruptions in the company’s ability to fund its mortgage assets in the commercial paper and the asset-backed securities markets. To date, the company has successfully met all of its commercial paper obligations. Finally, the company has also experienced delays in its ability to fund mortgage loans to its lending partners.

The company also confirmed that it is looking to sell some of its mortgage assets in order to “preserve shareholder value” — and, in this market, that means preserving liquidity.

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