MFA Financial, Inc. (NYSE:MFA) Q2 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Aug 06, 2020 • 11:30 am ET


MFA Financial, Inc. (NYSE:MFA) Q2 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript


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Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by. Welcome to the MFA Financial, Inc. Second Quarter Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the conference over to your host, Hal Schwartz. Please go ahead.

Harold E. Schwartz

Thank you, operator. Good morning, everyone. The information discussed on this conference call today may contain or refer to forward-looking statements regarding MFA Financial, Inc. which reflect management's beliefs, expectations and assumptions as to MFA's future performance and operations. When used, statements that are not historical in nature, including those containing words such as will, believe, expect, anticipate, estimate, should, could, would or similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements.

All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date on which they are made. These types of statements are subject to various known and unknown risks, uncertainties, assumptions and other factors, including those described in MFA's annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, and other reports that it may file from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These risks, uncertainties and other factors could cause MFA's actual results to differ materially from those projected, expressed or implied in any forward-looking statements it makes.

For additional information regarding MFA's use of forward-looking statements, please see the relevant disclosure in the press release announcing MFA's second quarter 2020 financial results. Thank you for your time.

I would now like to turn this call over to MFA's CEO and President, Craig Knutson.

Craig L. Knutson

Thank you, Hal. Good morning, everyone. I'd like to thank you for your interest in and welcome you to MFA Financial's Second Quarter 2020 Financial Results Webcast. Also dialed in with me today are Steve Yarad, our CFO; Gudmundur Kristjansson; and Bryan Wulfsohn, our Co-Chief Investment Officers; and other members of senior management.

Before we begin, I'd like to give a shout out to our entire MFA team. The last five months have obviously been extremely challenging and made exponentially more so by the fact that all of our efforts have been remote as the company fully implemented our business continuity plan during the third week of March. The effort and commitment put forth by our entire team over the last five months has been extraordinary, and I have been awed by their dedication.

Although the bottom line earnings per share results for the second quarter of 2020 might, at first glance, appear to be a return to normal for MFA. The second quarter was anything but normal. After a COVID-19-induced mortgage market meltdown that began in mid-March, we were in the middle of negotiating a forbearance agreement with our significant lenders as the second quarter began. These negotiations resulted in our first forbearance agreement, which took effect 10 days into the quarter on April 10, although our lenders who were party to this agreement had essentially been granting us forbearance since March 23.

Forbearance agreements were extended on April 27 and again on June 1, and