Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corp. (NYSE:AGM) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Feb 25, 2020 • 05:00 pm ET

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Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corp. (NYSE:AGM) Q4 2019 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Good day, and welcome to the Farmer Mac Fourth Quarter 2019 Investor Conference Call. [Operator Instructions]

I would now like to turn the conference over to Brad Nordholm, CEO. Please go ahead.

Executive
Bradford T. Nordholm

Thank you operator, and good afternoon, everyone. I'm Brad Nordholm, and I'm very pleased to welcome you to our 2019 fourth quarter and year-end investor conference call.

We have a number of positive developments to discuss today. But before I begin, I need to ask Steve Mullery, our General Counsel to comment on some of the forward-looking statements that management may make today as well as Farmer Mac's use of non-GAAP financial measures.

Executive
Stephen P. Mullery

Thanks, Brad. Some of the statements made on this conference call may be forward-looking statements under the securities laws. We make these statements based on our current expectations and assumptions about future events and business performance, and we may not be obligated to update these statements after this call.

We caution you that forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from the results expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. In evaluating Farmer Mac, you should consider these risks and uncertainties as well as those described in our 2019 annual report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC this afternoon.

In analyzing its financial information, Farmer Mac sometimes uses measures of financial performance that are not presented in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles in the United States, also known as non-GAAP measures. Disclosures and reconciliations of Farmer Mac's non-GAAP measures can be found in the most recent Form 10-K and earnings release posted on Farmer Mac's website, farmermac.com, under the Financial Information portion of the Investors section. A recording of this call will be available on our website for two weeks, starting later today.

Executive
Bradford T. Nordholm

Thanks, Steve, and good afternoon to everyone. Thanks very much for joining us. Today, I'm going to provide a high-level overview of our 2019 results, then I'm going to turn the call over to Zach, our Chief Business Officer, who will discuss customer and market developments, then to Jackson, our Chief Economist, who will give you an update on current agriculture environment and related credit conditions.

Finally, I'll turn the call to Aparna, who joined us as our Chief Financial Officer in early January of this year. She will spend some time introducing herself, share her initial observations about Farmer Mac and review our financial results.

Well, it's a pretty lousy day in the markets today, but I'm happy to report that Farmer Mac had an excellent year in 2019 on all fronts. Our outstanding business volume grew $1.4 billion during the year to a record $21.1 billion, while core earnings increased 12% from 2018 to a record of $93.7 million. Our growth and strong financial performance in 2019 can be largely attributed to closely aligning our business development efforts with our multiyear strategic plan that we worked on throughout the back half of 2019.

As you saw in our press release earlier this afternoon,