News Column

Starwood Property Trust, Inc. Reports Results for the Quarter Ended June 30, 2014

August 23, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Investment Weekly News -- Starwood Property Trust, Inc. (NYSE: STWD) announced operating results for the fiscal quarter ended June 30, 2014. The Company's Core Earnings, a Non-GAAP financial measure, were $115.2 million, or $0.51 per diluted share, for the second quarter of 2014, compared to $69.0 million, or $0.42 per diluted share, for the second quarter of 2013. Excluding LNR, which was not included in Core Earnings for a full quarter in 2013 due to the acquisition on April 19, 2013, and our single family residential segment, which was spun off in January 2014, the Company's real estate finance business (the "Lending Segment") realized a 48% increase in Core Earnings per diluted share during the second quarter of 2014 compared to the second quarter of 2013.

GAAP net income attributable to the Company for the second quarter of 2014 was $117.9 million, or $0.52 per diluted share, compared to $60.5 million, or $0.37 per diluted share, for the second quarter of 2013.

"With year-to-date lending activity exceeding $3.4 billion, we continue to grow our loan portfolio in a competitive marketplace while remaining vigilant about the credit quality of our investments (our loan-to-value remains below 66%) and prudent in our use of leverage, a combination we believe has and will continue to produce very attractive long term risk adjusted returns," stated Barry Sternlicht, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Starwood Property Trust. "LNR also remains highly active in the CMBS and special servicing space, as evidenced by both its rank as the leader in special servicer market share for the first half of the year and its deployment of $754.7 million of capital since the beginning of the year through its multiple lines of business, including $573.6 million of conduit loan originations. Our special servicing business provides unique visibility into the commercial real estate credit markets, providing critical information for making intelligent investment decisions across our Company."

Mr. Sternlicht continued, "The power of our diversified, scalable and well-capitalized finance platform allows Starwood Property Trust to source unique investment opportunities globally. We remain highly selective in our underwriting while maintaining our creative approach to structuring investments to align both borrower and lender needs. Our growing level of capital deployment and ability to generate consistent and attractive returns in today's low interest rate environment will continue to create value for our shareholders."

Highlights for the Second Quarter 2014 by Business Segment

The Company operates in two reportable segments: Real Estate Investment Lending and LNR. The Single-Family Residential segment was spun off to the Company's shareholders on January 31, 2014, and as such, the results of this segment prior to spinoff are included in the year-to-date numbers presented herein.

Real Estate Investment Lending Segment

The Lending Segment represents the Company's commercial real estate finance business. During the second quarter of 2014, the Lending Segment contributed GAAP and Core Earnings of $65.4 million and $76.2 million, respectively, which is nearly twice the GAAP and Core Earnings of $33.7 million and $38.2 million, respectively, from the second quarter of 2013.

Originations during the quarter totaled $0.6 billion, with an additional $1.1 billion of loans closed or committed to subsequent to quarter end. Of these investments, 99.8% are comprised of LIBOR-based floating rate loans, as is approximately 87.8% of the Lending Segment's pipeline. The Company should benefit from a rising rate environment as it continues to pursue its strategy of financing floating rate investments with floating rate debt and fixed rate investments with either fixed rate debt or floating rate debt hedged by interest swaps. As of June 30, 2014, the Company estimates that a 100 basis point increase in LIBOR would result in an increase to income of $14.0 million.

As of June 30, 2014, 77% of the Lending Segment's loan portfolio is indexed to LIBOR, 86% of which benefits from having a LIBOR floor at an average rate of 0.36%. The Lending Segment's fixed rate portfolio carries a weighted average coupon of 8.6%.

The carrying value of the Lending Segment's total investment portfolio was $5.8 billion as of June 30, 2014, of which $5.4 billion represents its target portfolio, which is anticipated to generate a leveraged return of 10.2% to 10.8%. The Company's average LTV is currently 65.2%, reflecting a margin of safety in the loan portfolio.

Keywords for this news article include: Real Estate, Investment and Finance, Starwood Property Trust Inc.

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Source: Investment Weekly News

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