Is AGNC Investment a Buy?

Is AGNC Investment a Buy?

For conservative income investors, yes, this mortgage REIT is worth it. Read more about Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu top Projecx new investment table in Q2FY21 on Business Standard. Chattisgarh topped the table by attracting fresh investment of Rs 35,771.3 cr in the form of 114 projects while Tamil Nadu was ranked second with 132 new projects worth Rs 23,331.85 cr Here’s where the six candidates for the Redding City Council stand on handling the financial fallout brought on by COVID-19. Millions of dollars belonging to Lakelands residents sit unclaimed in the state’s financial coffers. VALLEY FORGE, Pa., Oct. 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Vanguard announced Sprucegrove Investment Management Ltd. (Sprucegrove) will be added to the firm’s distinguished roster of world-class active management expertise. Effective October

Now that the worst effects of the coronavirus pandemic appear to be over for mortgage real estate investment trusts (mREITs), investors are starting to wonder whether it is time to reenter the sector. Pretty much all of the mREITs that entered forbearance with their creditors have exited, deleveraged, cut dividends, and are now back in growth mode. One of the first mREITs to recover was AGNC Investment (NASDAQ:AGNC). Is the stock a buy? 

Picture of a candlestick chart

Image source: Getty Images.

Mortgage REITs have a different business model from the typical REIT. Most REITs invest directly in property, rent it out, and pay investors what is left after expenses. Mortgage REITs generally don’t own property; they own real estate debt. There are commercial mREITs like Blackstone Mortgage Trust (NYSE:BXMT), which own securities backed by commercial mortgages, but most mREITs invest in securities backed by residential mortgages.

There are several flavors of residential mREITs: agency REITs, nonagency REITs, and lenders. AGNC in an agency REIT, which means it invests in mortgage-backed securities guaranteed by the U.S. government. 

As an agency REIT, AGNC Investment bears almost no credit risk. If the borrower doesn’t make the mortgage payment, the servicer or the government will ensure that AGNC gets paid.

These sort of securities trade in a very liquid market, and generally are low-volatility assets. This means that the interest on the securities is lower (less risk means less return) and therefore the REIT will use more leverage.

It also means that these stocks generally trade pretty close to book value. AGNC’s book value per share as of June 30 was $14.92, and the stock has traded at about a 7% discount to book value since. Other mREITs trade at much bigger discounts to book value. For example, MFA Financial (NYSE:MFA) trades at a 38% discount to book value, and Invesco Mortgage Capital (NYSE:IVR) trades at a 19% discount. 

Given the volatility in the mREIT sector last spring, many became favorites of the Robinhood crowd. In fact, many of these stocks that had been given up for dead are still trading at big discounts to book value, and are increasing dividend payouts.

Investors looking for more risk and potential return will probably find more opportunities in the sector laggards. Stocks like MFA Financial and Invesco Mortgage are not flashing buy signals quite yet, but if the companies report that borrowers are making their mortgage payments, they deserve a serious look. 

AGNC Investment is going to appeal primarily to income investors who have a low risk tolerance. It pays a monthly dividend of $0.12 per share, which works out to a 10% dividend yield. On its second-quarter earnings conference call, the company admitted that it probably didn’t need to cut its dividend in retrospect.

AGNC has also been buying back stock at a discount to book. It is trading with a 6% discount to book value, which should increase when the company announces third-quarter earnings. For conservative income investors, AGNC is worth having in their portfolio. In fact, AGNC is one of my CAPS picks. 

Source: www.fool.com

Author: Brent Nyitray, CFA


Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu top Projecx new investment table in Q2FY21

Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu top Projecx new investment table in Q2FY21

Source: www.business-standard.com

Author: T E Narasimhan


Here's where Redding Council candidates stand on handling financial fallout from COVID-19

Here’s where Redding Council candidates stand on handling financial fallout from COVID-19

Redding’s spike in COVID-19 cases last week and resulting business restrictions highlight one of the tough challenges facing the Redding City Council.

Six candidates are running for two council seats that are now held by Mayor Adam McElvain and Councilmember Julie Winter.

The Record Searchlight talked to all the candidates about how COVID-19 is impacting the city and actions they’d take to keep Redding steady during the pandemic. Here’s some of what they said.

Shasta County’s first shutdown to help stop the spread of COVID-19 was ordered by Gov. Gavin Newsom in mid-March. Until it was relaxed in June, that measure included widespread restrictions on many businesses, including the closure of bars, indoor restaurant dining, barber shops and gyms.

While many Redding businesses complied, some ignored those restrictions.

This time around, business shutdown violators should face greater consequences, says council candidate David Robbins, a Shasta College student and first-time political candidate.

“I think the lack of enforcement’s been a huge problem for the city and the county,” said Robbins, referring to Shasta County Sheriff Eric Magrini’s previous decision not to actively go after business violators.

“I think we should do more … I think sanctions are definitely called for,” Robbins said. “That’s a great place to start — by (allowing) law enforcement to give citations to businesses that aren’t in compliance.”

However, Robbins added, “I don’t necessarily want to saturate the Redding Police Department” with enforcement duties and would instead suggest working with Shasta County officials “to come up with a plan.”

Robbins said he’d also advocate for applying for more state and federal grants to cover additional assistance for local businesses and residents who are struggling. 

And he favors tapping into the city’s approximately $8 million in financial reserves if necessary. “Extraordinary times call for extraordinary measures,” he said.

News:Shasta County sends letter urging Newsom to lift local restrictions. Will it matter?

Candidate Julie Winter, one of the two incumbents who is up for re-election, pointed to the various financial lifelines the council has already provided during the past several months.

The council’s recent actions include awarding $750,000 in state grant money from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) to 121 Redding mom-and-pops who are in distress, giving a temporary reprieve to hotels on paying their transient occupancy taxes and sending rebates to all residential and commercial customers of Redding Electric Utility.

As far as what else could be done to help businesses and residents, she said the council would have to look to relief from the state or federal governments and review where the city’s budget stands in January. Also, she said, “we are going to reassess the need in a few weeks,” after Shasta County has completed distribution of its share of CARES Act funding to businesses.

Redding has been “fairly cautious about expenditures … trying to keep a very tight rein on expenses because of that, because we don’t know how the budget will be affected” by the pandemic, she said. At this point, she said, “things are looking like we’ll be OK, at least until January.”

Adam McElvain, Redding’s mayor this year, is also in the race to retain his council seat.

He said the city still has possibilities for finding grant money, including a potential second round from the CARES Act.  

Using the city’s financial reserves as a source of assistance for companies and residents during the pandemic should be considered a final option, he said: “That’s always a discussion that could be had at the council. We want to explore every solution available to us.”

More:These two companies want to buy land at Stillwater Business Park

For now, McElvain said, the city remains “on stable financial ground.” According to a recent presentation to the council, total revenue will come in above projections, buoyed by strong property tax collections and building fees that counteracted weaker sales and hotel taxes.

And, while some businesses are suffering, the pandemic could actually end up bringing more companies to town.  

Six lots in the city-owned Stillwater Business Park “are spoken for now” while two more “could be in play here very soon,” said McElvain. That’s in addition to two interested firms that were identified in September.

McElvain said his opinion is that the broader situation with COVID-19 “may have been the push” that persuaded the businesses to move to Stillwater Business Park. “I have heard that the manufacturers would like to pay lower rent. We have lower rent, lower land costs, lower utility rates,” McElvain said.

More:Shasta County, cities declare joint coronavirus emergency to ‘maximize ongoing response’

Council candidate Monique Welin, a first-time challenger, said one avenue to business funding could take the form of potential proceeds from a lawsuit filed by 30 California counties, including Shasta County, against pharmaceutical firm Purdue Pharma L.P. in 2018. The pharmaceutical firm played a major role in the nation’s opioid addiction crisis, the lawsuit says.

Another person in the council race, Mark Mezzano, said he wants to see the government “come up with more money for us. They’re going to (have to) expand their grant.” 

Mezzano said the level of “restrictions that they’re placing on us from Sacramento are not reflective of what actually is going on in Shasta County. We’ve had more people test positive, but they’re not going to the hospital.”

Candidate Jack Munns suggested that, if necessary, some of the city’s reserves could be tapped to help companies in need, while city leaders could also request federal help. In the meantime, he said, businesses should “be responsible and they need to be open.”

Munns added that “well over 99% of the people in our county recover” from the coronavirus.

“I get it. There are 1,300 cases. I’m very sympathetic,” Munns said. “I love love love helping people, but we can’t let the fear of this thing drown us.”

Michele Chandler covers city government and housing issues for the Redding Record Searchlight/USA Today Network. Follow her on Twitter at @MChandler_RS, call her at 530-225-8344 or email her at michele.chandler@redding.com. Please support our entire newsroom’s commitment to public service journalism by subscribing today.

Source: www.redding.com


Lakelands residents have millions in unclaimed cash sitting in state coffers

Lakelands residents have millions in unclaimed cash sitting in state coffers

Millions of dollars belonging to Lakelands residents sit unclaimed in the state’s financial coffers.

State Treasurer Curtis Loftis wants to get those dollars to their rightful owners, which he says is the best part of his job.

“I find it particularly fun,” Loftis said. “It’s the most fun thing that I do.”

Loftis said this program has been in place for decades, although it was seldom used in the past.

“Previous treasurers didn’t do much with it,” Loftis said.

Loftis said his office travels across the country to find money that belongs to South Carolinians.

“Anybody who has money that does not belong to them, they are supposed to send it to the state after a certain period of time,” Loftis said.

More than $700 million in unclaimed cash is being held by the state treasurer’s office until the rightful owner, person or company, claims it, Loftis said. Last year, Loftis returned more than $31.5 million from more than 61,000 accounts, according to a fact sheet provided by state agency.

Loftis said he traveled to Clarendon County on Monday where he was able to return $29,000 in unclaimed money to a man who lives in a camper in the woods on land that he owns.

“He was cleaning a deer and canning some pickles,” Loftis said.

Loftis said he filled out paperwork with the man and he will receive his check in a matter of days.

He also visited an 80-year-old man who had $23,000 returned to him in what Loftis said he believes was a life insurance policy with interest.

Loftis said some of the money comes from life insurance policies, annuities or something as simple as a utility deposit.

He said the highest single amount of unclaimed cash the state treasurer’s office has returned since he has been in charge of the office was about $900,000.

Greenwood County residents have $5,697,455 in 45,567 accounts in unclaimed cash. Laurens County residents have $4,413,281 in unclaimed cash and Abbeville County residents have $1,124,003 in 11,458 accounts. McCormick and Saluda County residents have just less than $1 million each in unclaimed cash.

One resident of Greenwood County has $125,000 waiting for them at the state treasurer’s office and 40 other county residents have unclaimed money in excess of $10,000.

The treasurer’s office receives this unclaimed money after it has sat dormant for a set period of time. The funds are then sent to the treasurer’s office in the owner’s name and it holds the money until it is claimed.

The process to claim money is relatively straightforward. Loftis maintains a database of the names of South Carolinians and South Carolina businesses with unclaimed cash. All it takes is a simple search of someone’s name on the state treasurer’s website under unclaimed property.

Loftis’s office released a few Lakelands resident’s names who have unclaimed money. Barbara Hardy and Cassandra Lukie of Greenwood each have unclaimed cash at the state treasurer’s office as does Graig A. Stitt of Ninety Six and Sabrina Hart of Hodges. The treasurer’s office is also trying to return money to Kathleen Morton and Wesley B. McKenzie of McCormick as well as John Elmore and Rosalind Hoover of Abbeville.

Loftis said filing a claim is easy and the rightful owner could see a check in a matter of days.

Contact staff writer James Hicks at jhicks@indexjournal.com or on Twitter @jameshicks3.

Source: www.indexjournal.com

Author: JAMES HICKS jhicks@indexjournal.com


Vanguard Adds Sprucegrove Investment Management as External Advisor

Vanguard Adds Sprucegrove Investment Management as External Advisor

VALLEY FORGE, Pa., Oct. 9, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Vanguard announced Sprucegrove Investment Management Ltd. (Sprucegrove) will be added to the firm’s distinguished roster of world-class active management expertise. Effective October 12, 2020, Sprucegrove will join Lazard Asset Management LLC and ARGA Investment Management, LP in overseeing the $9.8 billion Vanguard International Value Fund. Sprucegrove will manage the 35% of the Fund previously overseen by Edinburgh Partners Limited.

“Vanguard has decades of experience in selecting and partnering with active managers. We continuously search for world-class investment talent that brings a particular expertise and experience to specific mandates,” said Kaitlyn Caughlin, head of Vanguard Portfolio Review Department. “We welcome Sprucegrove as a valuable addition to our talented roster of investment management partners.”

Sprucegrove is a Toronto-based boutique asset manager with $13.8 billion in assets under management. Founded in 1993, the employee-owned firm maintains an investment philosophy focused on constructing portfolios of quality companies at attractive valuations. Arjun Kumar, CFA, and Shirley Woo, CFA, will co-manage Sprucegrove’s portion of the Fund.

The Fund invests in companies from developed and emerging markets around the world that its advisors view as temporarily undervalued by the markets. The Fund invests in large-, mid-, and small-capitalization companies and diversifies its assets in countries across developed and emerging markets.

As a result of Vanguard’s performance-based fee arrangements, the Fund’s expense ratio is expected to increase 1 basis point to 0.38%, well below the average asset-weighted expense ratio of 0.98% for foreign large value fundsi.

Vanguard’s active management leadership  
With more than $1.6 trillion in active assets, Vanguard is one of the largest providers of actively managed funds in the world. Vanguard’s philosophy on active management is rooted in its commitment to partnering with top-tier advisors—both internal and external—and taking a long-term, disciplined approach to investing to give investors the best chance of success in achieving their investment goals.

Vanguard has delivered consistent and sustained outperformance through more than 45 years of active management. Over the last ten years, 90% of Vanguard’s actively managed funds outperformed their peer group average, enabled by rigorous fund oversight, access to a diverse roster of world-class active management talent, and the ability to keep costs lowii.

About Vanguard 
Vanguard is one of the world’s largest investment management companies. As of August 31, 2020, Vanguard managed $6.6 trillion in global assets. The firm, headquartered in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, offers more than 422 funds to its more than 30 million investors worldwide. For more information, visit vanguard.com.

Asset figures as of August 31, 2020 unless otherwise noted.

For more information about Vanguard funds, visit vanguard.com/fund prospectus to obtain a prospectus or, if available, a summary prospectus. Investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information are contained in the prospectus; read and consider it carefully before investing.

All investing is subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest. 

Investments in stocks or bonds issued by non-U.S. companies are subject to risks including country/regional risk and currency risk. This risk is especially high in emerging markets.

Vanguard Marketing Corporation, Distributor.

i Source: Morningstar, as of August 31, 2020.

ii For the one-year period, 91 of 122 Vanguard active funds outperformed their peer-group averages. For the five-year period, 88 of 100 Vanguard active funds outperformed their peer-group averages. For the ten-year period, 86 of 96 Vanguard active funds outperformed their peer-group averages. All data as of December 31, 2019. Results will vary for other time periods. Only funds with a minimum one-, five-, or ten-year history, respectively, were included in the comparison. (Source: Lipper, a Thomson Reuters Company). Note that the competitive performance data shown represent past performance, which is not a guarantee of future results, and that all investments are subject to risks. For the most recent performance, visit our website at www.vanguard.com/performance.

Source: www.wfmz.com

Author: Vanguard;Sprucegrove Investment Management;


Is AGNC Investment a Buy?


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