S-11/A
Table of Contents

As filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on March 14, 2014

Registration No. 333-193959

 

 

 

UNITED STATES

SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION

Washington, D.C. 20549

 

 

Amendment No. 2

to

Form S-11

FOR REGISTRATION

UNDER

THE SECURITIES ACT OF 1933

OF CERTAIN REAL ESTATE COMPANIES

 

 

ORCHID ISLAND CAPITAL, INC.

(Exact name of registrant as specified in its governing instruments)

 

 

3305 Flamingo Drive, Vero Beach Florida 32963

(772) 231-1400

(Address, including zip code, and telephone number, including area code, of registrant’s principal executive offices)

 

 

Robert E. Cauley

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer

Orchid Island Capital, Inc.

3305 Flamingo Drive, Vero Beach, Florida 32963

(772) 231-1400

(Name, address, including zip code and telephone number, including area code, of agent for service)

 

 

copies to:

 

S. Gregory Cope, Esq.

Hunton & Williams LLP

Riverfront Plaza, East Tower

951 East Byrd Street

Richmond, VA 23219

(804) 788-8388

(804) 343-4833 (facsimile)

 

David Alan Miller, Esq.

Brian L. Ross, Esq.

Graubard Miller

405 Lexington Avenue, 19th Floor

New York, NY 10174

(212) 818-8800

(212) 818-8881 (facsimile)

 

 

Approximate date of commencement of proposed sale to the public: As soon as practicable after the effective date of this Registration Statement.

If any of the Securities being registered on this Form are to be offered on a delayed or continuous basis pursuant to Rule 415 under the Securities Act, check the following box.  ¨

If this Form is filed to register additional securities for an offering pursuant to Rule 462(b) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  ¨

If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(c) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  ¨

If this Form is a post-effective amendment filed pursuant to Rule 462(d) under the Securities Act, check the following box and list the Securities Act registration statement number of the earlier effective registration statement for the same offering.  ¨

If delivery of the prospectus is expected to be made pursuant to Rule 434, check the following box.  ¨

Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See the definitions of “large accelerated filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act.

 

 

Large Accelerated Filer   ¨    Accelerated Filer   ¨
Non-accelerated Filer   ¨  (Do not check if a smaller reporting company)    Smaller Reporting Company   x

 

 

CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE

 

 

Title of Securities

Being Registered

  Proposed Maximum
Aggregate
Offering Price(1)(2)
  Amount of
Registration Fee(1)(3)

Common Stock, $0.01 par value per share

  $61,410,000   $7,910

 

 

(1) Estimated solely for the purposes of determining the registration fee in accordance with Rule 457(o) of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended.
(2) Includes the offering price of shares of common stock that may be purchased by the underwriters upon the exercise of their overallotment option.
(3) The Registrant previously paid $4,637 of this fee in connection with the initial filing of this registration statement.

 

 

The Registrant hereby amends this Registration Statement on such date or dates as may be necessary to delay its effective date until the Registrant shall file a further amendment which specifically states that this Registration Statement shall thereafter become effective in accordance with Section 8(a) of the Securities Act of 1933 or until the Registration Statement shall become effective on such date as the Commission, acting pursuant to said Section 8(a), may determine.

 

 

 


Table of Contents

The information in this prospectus is not complete and may be changed. We may not issue these securities until the registration statement filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission is effective. This prospectus is not an offer to sell these securities and it is not soliciting an offer to buy these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale thereof is not permitted.

 

SUBJECT TO COMPLETION, DATED MARCH 14, 2014

PRELIMINARY PROSPECTUS

4,000,000 Shares

LOGO

Common Stock

 

 

Orchid Island Capital, Inc., a Maryland corporation, invests in residential mortgage-backed securities the principal and interest payments of which are guaranteed by a U.S. Government agency or a U.S. Government-sponsored entity. We are externally managed and advised by Bimini Advisors, LLC, or our Manager, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bimini Capital Management, Inc., or Bimini. Our Manager is an investment advisor registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC. Bimini is an existing real estate investment trust for U.S. federal income tax purposes, or REIT, whose common stock is traded on the OTC Bulletin Board under the symbol “BMNM.”

This is an offering of 4,000,000 shares of our common stock, $0.01 par value per share. Our common stock is traded on the NYSE MKT under the symbol “ORC.” On March 13, 2014, the last reported sales price on the NYSE MKT for our common stock was $13.35 per share.

We are organized and intend to continue to conduct our operations to qualify as a REIT. To assist us in qualifying as a REIT, among other purposes, ownership of our stock by any person is generally limited to 9.8% in value or number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of any class or series of our stock, except that Bimini may own up to 35.0% of our common stock so long as Bimini continues to qualify as a REIT. Our charter also contains various other restrictions on the ownership and transfer of our common stock, see “Description of Capital Stock — Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer.”

We are an “emerging growth company” as that term is used in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, or the JOBS Act.

 

 

Investing in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. See “Risk Factors” beginning on page 24 of this prospectus.

 

     Per Share      Total  

Public Offering Price

   $                    $                

Underwriting Discount and Commissions (1)

   $         $     

Proceeds to Us (before expenses)

   $         $     

 

  (1) Please see the section of this prospectus entitled “Underwriting” for further information relating to the underwriting arrangements agreed to between us and the underwriter in this offering.

We have granted the underwriters the option to purchase up to an additional 600,000 shares of common stock within 30 days after the date of this prospectus to cover overallotments, if any.

Neither the Securities and Exchange Commission nor any state securities commission has approved or disapproved of these securities or passed on the adequacy or accuracy of this prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.

Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. Inc., on behalf of the underwriters, expects to deliver the shares on or about March     , 2014.

 

 

Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. Inc.

Prospectus dated                     , 2014


Table of Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

     Page  

Prospectus Summary

     1   

Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

     22   

Risk Factors

     24   

Use of Proceeds

     54   

Market Price of Our Common Stock

     55   

Distribution Policy

     56   

Capitalization

     58   

Dilution

     59   

Selected Financial Data

     60   

Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations

     61   

Business

     84   

Our Manager and the Management Agreement

     100   

Our Management

     109   

Certain Relationships and Related Transactions

     118   

Description of Capital Stock

     121   

Stock Available for Future Sale

     125   

Certain Provisions of Maryland Law and of Our Charter and Bylaws

     126   

Principal Stockholders

     131   

Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations

     132   

ERISA Considerations

     155   

Underwriting

     157   

Legal Matters

     164   

Experts

     164   

Where You Can Find More Information

     164   

Index to Financial Statements

     F-1   

You should rely only on the information contained in this prospectus and any free writing prospectus that we authorize to be delivered to you. We have not, and the underwriters have not, authorized any other person to provide you with any additional or different information. If anyone provides you with additional, different or inconsistent information, you should not rely on it. We are not, and the underwriters are not, making an offer to sell these securities in any jurisdiction where the offer or sale thereof is not permitted. You should assume that the information appearing in this prospectus is accurate only as of the date on the front cover of this prospectus or another date specified herein. Our business, financial condition and prospects may have changed since such dates.

 

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PROSPECTUS SUMMARY

This section summarizes information contained elsewhere in this prospectus. It is not complete and may not contain all of the information that you may want to consider before making an investment in our common stock. You should read this entire prospectus carefully, including the section titled “Risk Factors” and our financial statements and related notes, before making an investment in our common stock. As used in this prospectus, “Orchid,” “Company,” “we,” “our,” and “us” refer to Orchid Island Capital, Inc. References to “our Manager” refer to Bimini Advisors, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bimini Capital Management, Inc. References to “Bimini” and “Bimini Capital” refer to Bimini Capital Management, Inc. Unless otherwise indicated, the information in this prospectus assumes (i) the underwriters will not exercise their option to purchase up to an additional 600,000 shares of our common stock to cover overallotments, if any, and (ii) that the shares of our common stock to be sold in this offering will be sold at $13.35 per share, which was the last reported sales price of our common stock on March 13, 2014, as reported on the NYSE MKT.

Our Company

Orchid Island Capital, Inc. is a specialty finance company that invests in residential mortgage-backed securities, or RMBS. The principal and interest payments of these RMBS are guaranteed by the Federal National Mortgage Association, or Fannie Mae, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, or Freddie Mac, or the Government National Mortgage Association, or Ginnie Mae, and are backed primarily by single-family residential mortgage loans. We refer to these types of RMBS as Agency RMBS. Our investment strategy focuses on, and our portfolio consists of, two categories of Agency RMBS: (i) traditional pass-through Agency RMBS and (ii) structured Agency RMBS, such as collateralized mortgage obligations, or CMOs, interest only securities, or IOs, inverse interest only securities, or IIOs, and principal only securities, or POs, among other types of structured Agency RMBS.

Our business objective is to provide attractive risk-adjusted total returns to our investors over the long term through a combination of capital appreciation and the payment of regular monthly distributions. We intend to achieve this objective by investing in and strategically allocating capital between the two categories of Agency RMBS described above. We seek to generate income from (i) the net interest margin, which is the spread or difference between the interest income we earn on our assets and the interest cost of our related borrowing and hedging activities, on our leveraged pass-through Agency RMBS portfolio and the leveraged portion of our structured Agency RMBS portfolio, and (ii) the interest income we generate from the unleveraged portion of our structured Agency RMBS portfolio. We intend to fund our pass-through Agency RMBS and certain of our structured Agency RMBS, such as fixed and floating rate tranches of CMOs and POs, through short-term borrowings structured as repurchase agreements. However, we do not intend to employ leverage on the securities in our structured Agency RMBS portfolio that have no principal balance, such as IOs and IIOs. We may pledge a portion of these assets to increase our cash balance, but we do not intend to invest the cash derived from pledging the assets. Otherwise, we do not intend to use leverage in these instances because these securities contain structural leverage.

Pass-through Agency RMBS and structured Agency RMBS typically exhibit materially different sensitivities to movements in interest rates. Declines in the value of one portfolio may be offset by appreciation in the other. The percentage of capital that we allocate to our two Agency RMBS asset categories will vary and will be actively managed in an effort to maintain the level of income generated by the combined portfolios, the stability of that income stream and the stability of the value of the combined portfolios. We believe that this strategy will enhance our liquidity, earnings, book value stability and asset selection opportunities in various interest rate environments.

We are externally managed and advised by Bimini Advisors, LLC, pursuant to the terms of a management agreement. Our Manager is a Maryland limited liability company that is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bimini. Our Manager is responsible for administering our business activities and day-to-day operations, subject to the

 

 

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supervision and oversight of our Board of Directors. Members of Bimini’s and our Manager’s senior management team also serve as our executive officers. We do not have any employees.

We have been organized and have operated so as to qualify as a REIT under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended, or the Code. We will elect to be taxed as a REIT beginning with our 2013 taxable year, upon the filing of our federal income tax return for such year. As a REIT, we generally are not subject to U.S. federal income tax to the extent that we annually distribute all of our REIT taxable income to our stockholders and continue to qualify as a REIT.

We completed our initial public offering on February 20, 2013. We are an emerging growth company as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, or the JOBS Act, and will remain such for up to five years from the date of our initial public offering. However, if our non-convertible debt issued within a three year period or our total revenues exceed $1 billion or the market value of our shares of common stock that are held by non-affiliates exceeds $700 million on the last day of the second fiscal quarter of any given fiscal year, we would cease to be an emerging growth company as of the following fiscal year. Although we are an emerging growth company under the JOBS Act, we have elected to opt out of the extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards, and such election is irrevocable.

Our Investment and Capital Allocation Strategy

Our Investment Strategy

Our business objective is to provide attractive risk-adjusted total returns to our investors over the long term through a combination of capital appreciation and the payment of regular monthly distributions. We intend to achieve this objective by investing in and strategically allocating capital between pass-through Agency RMBS and structured Agency RMBS. We seek to generate income from (i) the net interest margin on our leveraged pass-through Agency RMBS portfolio and the leveraged portion of our structured Agency RMBS portfolio, and (ii) the interest income we generate from the unleveraged portion of our structured Agency RMBS portfolio. We also seek to minimize the volatility of both the net asset value of, and income from, our portfolio through a process which emphasizes capital allocation, asset selection, liquidity and active interest rate risk management.

We fund our pass-through Agency RMBS and certain of our structured Agency RMBS, such as fixed and floating rate tranches of CMOs and POs, through repurchase agreements. However, we do not employ leverage on our structured Agency RMBS that have no principal balance, such as IOs and IIOs. We may pledge a portion of these assets to increase our cash balance, but we do not intend to invest the cash derived from pledging the assets. Otherwise, we do not use leverage in these instances because the securities contain structural leverage.

 

 

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Our target asset categories and the principal assets in which we invest are as follows:

 

Asset Categories

  

Principal Assets

Pass-through Agency RMBS

  

Residential Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates. Residential mortgage pass-through certificates are securities representing interests in “pools” of mortgage loans secured by residential real property where payments of both interest and principal, plus pre-paid principal, on the securities are made monthly to holders of the securities, in effect “passing through” monthly payments made by the individual borrowers on the mortgage loans that underlie the securities, net of fees paid to the issuer/guarantor and servicers of the securities. Pass-through certificates can be divided into various categories based on the characteristics of the underlying mortgages, such as the term or whether the interest rate is fixed or variable.

 

The principal and interest payments of these Agency RMBS are guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or Ginnie Mae and are backed primarily by single-family residential mortgage loans. We invest in pass-through certificates with the three following types of underlying loans:

 

•     Fixed-Rate Mortgages. Fixed-rate mortgages are mortgages for which the borrower pays an interest rate that is constant throughout the term of the loan.

 

•     Adjustable-Rate Mortgages (ARMs). ARMs are mortgages for which the borrower pays an interest rate that varies over the term of the loan.

 

•     Hybrid ARMs. Hybrid ARMs are mortgages that have a fixed-rate for the first few years of the loan, often three, five, seven or ten years, and thereafter reset periodically like a traditional ARM.

Structured Agency RMBS

  

Collateralized Mortgage Obligations. CMOs are securities that are structured from residential mortgage pass-through certificates, which receive monthly payments of principal and interest. CMOs may be collateralized by whole mortgage loans, but are more typically collateralized by portfolios of residential mortgage pass-through securities issued directly by or under the auspices of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or Ginnie Mae. CMOs divide the cash flows which come from the underlying residential mortgage pass-through certificates into different classes of securities that may have different maturities and different weighted average lives than the underlying residential mortgage pass-through certificates.

 

Interest Only Securities. IOs are securities that are structured from residential mortgage pass-through certificates, which receive monthly payments of interest only. IOs represent the stream of interest payments on a pool of mortgages, either fixed-rate mortgages or hybrid ARMs. The value of IOs depends primarily on two factors, which are prepayments and interest rates.

 

Inverse Interest Only Securities. IIOs are IOs that have interest rates that move in the opposite direction of an interest rate index, such as LIBOR. The value of IIOs depends primarily on three factors, which are prepayments, LIBOR and term interest rates.

 

 

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Asset Categories

  

Principal Assets

   Principal Only Securities. POs are securities that are structured from residential mortgage pass-through certificates, which receive monthly payments of principal only and are, therefore, similar to zero coupon bonds. The value of POs depends primarily on two factors, which are prepayments and interest rates.

Our investment strategy consists of the following components:

 

    investing in pass-through Agency RMBS and certain structured Agency RMBS, such as fixed and floating rate tranches of CMOs and POs, on a leveraged basis to increase returns on the capital allocated to this portfolio;

 

    investing in certain structured Agency RMBS, such as IOs and IIOs, generally on an unleveraged basis in order to (i) increase returns due to the structural leverage contained in such securities, (ii) enhance liquidity due to the fact that these securities will be unencumbered or, when encumbered, retain the cash from such borrowings and (iii) diversify portfolio interest rate risk due to the different interest rate sensitivity these securities have compared to pass-through Agency RMBS;

 

    investing in Agency RMBS in order to minimize credit risk;

 

    investing in assets that will cause us to maintain our exclusion from regulation as an investment company under the Investment Company Act of 1940, as amended, or the Investment Company Act; and

 

    investing in assets that will allow us to qualify and maintain our qualification as a REIT.

Our Manager makes investment decisions based on various factors, including, but not limited to, relative value, expected cash yield, supply and demand, costs of hedging, costs of financing, liquidity requirements, expected future interest rate volatility and the overall shape of the U.S. Treasury and interest rate swap yield curves. We do not attribute any particular quantitative significance to any of these factors, and the weight we give to these factors depends on market conditions and economic trends. We believe that this strategy, combined with our Manager’s experienced RMBS investment team, enables us to provide attractive long-term returns to our stockholders.

Capital Allocation Strategy

The percentage of capital invested in our two asset categories varies and is managed in an effort to maintain the level of income generated by the combined portfolios, the stability of that income stream and the stability of the value of the combined portfolios. Typically, pass-through Agency RMBS and structured Agency RMBS exhibit materially different sensitivities to movements in interest rates. Declines in the value of one portfolio may be offset by appreciation in the other, although we cannot assure you that this will be the case. Additionally, our Manager seeks to maintain adequate liquidity as it allocates capital.

During periods of rising interest rates, refinancing opportunities available to borrowers typically decrease because borrowers are not able to refinance their current mortgage loans with new mortgage loans at lower interest rates. In such instances, securities that are highly sensitive to refinancing activity, such as IOs and IIOs, typically increase in value. Our capital allocation strategy allows us to redeploy our capital into such securities when and if we believe interest rates will be higher in the future, thereby allowing us to hold securities the value of which we believe is likely to increase as interest rates rise. Also, by being able to re-allocate capital into structured Agency RMBS, such as IOs, during periods of rising interest rates, we may be able to offset the likely decline in the value of our pass-through Agency RMBS, which are negatively impacted by rising interest rates.

 

 

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Competitive Strengths

We believe that our competitive strengths include:

 

    Ability to Successfully Allocate Capital between Pass-Through and Structured Agency RMBS. We seek to maximize our risk-adjusted returns by investing exclusively in Agency RMBS, which has limited credit risk due to the guarantee of principal and interest payments on such securities by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or Ginnie Mae. Our Manager will allocate capital between pass-through Agency RMBS and structured Agency RMBS. The percentage of our capital we allocate to our two asset categories will vary and will be actively managed in an effort to maintain the level of income generated by the combined portfolios, the stability of that income stream and the stability of the value of the combined portfolios. We believe this strategy will enhance our liquidity, earnings, book value stability and asset selection opportunities in various interest rate environments and provide us with a competitive advantage over other REITs that invest in only pass-through Agency RMBS. This is because, among other reasons, our investment and capital allocation strategies allow us to move capital out of pass-through Agency RMBS and into structured Agency RMBS in a rising interest rate environment, which will protect our portfolio from excess margin calls on our pass-through Agency RMBS portfolio and reduced net interest margins, and allow us to invest in securities, such as IOs, that have historically performed well in a rising interest rate environment.

 

    Experienced RMBS Investment Team. Robert Cauley, our Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Bimini, and Hunter Haas, our Chief Investment Officer, have 20 and 13 years of experience, respectively, in analyzing, trading and investing in Agency RMBS. Additionally, Messrs. Cauley and Haas have over ten and nine years, respectively, of experience managing Bimini, which is a publicly-traded REIT that has invested in Agency RMBS since its inception in 2003. Messrs. Cauley and Haas managed Bimini through the recent housing market collapse and the related adverse effects on the banking and financial system, repositioning Bimini’s portfolio in response to adverse market conditions. We believe this experience has enabled them to recognize portfolio risk in advance, hedge such risk accordingly and manage liquidity and borrowing risks during adverse market conditions. We believe that Messrs. Cauley’s and Haas’ experience provides us with a competitive advantage over other management teams that may not have experience managing a publicly-traded mortgage REIT or managing a business similar to ours during various interest rate and credit cycles, including the recent housing market collapse.

 

    Clean Balance Sheet With an Implemented Investment Strategy. We completed our initial public offering in February 2013 and completed a follow on offering in January 2014, and we intend to build on our existing investment portfolio. As of February 28, 2014, our Agency RMBS portfolio had a preliminary estimated fair value of approximately $538.0 million and was comprised of approximately 94.7% pass-through Agency RMBS and 5.3% structured Agency RMBS. As of January 31, 2014, our preliminary estimated net asset value was approximately $69.1 million. Bimini managed our portfolio from our inception until the closing of our initial public offering utilizing the same investment strategy that our Manager and its experienced RMBS investment team have employed since our initial public offering.

 

    Alignment of Interests. Bimini owns 981,665 shares of our common stock, which represents approximately 18.1% of the aggregate outstanding shares of our common stock. We believe that Bimini’s ownership of our common stock aligns our Manager’s interests with our interests.

Summary Risk Factors

An investment in our common stock involves a high degree of material risks. Each prospective purchaser of our common stock should consider carefully the matters discussed under “Risk Factors” beginning on page 24 before investing in our common stock. Some of these risks include:

 

    Because our management will have broad discretion over the use of the net proceeds from this offering, you may not agree with how we use the proceeds, and we may not invest the proceeds successfully.

 

 

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    The U.S. Federal Reserve’s recent announcement that it would reduce its monthly purchases pursuant to QE3 could impact the market for and value of the Agency RMBS in which we invest as well as our net asset value and net interest margin.

 

    Adoption of the Basel III standards and other proposed supplementary regulatory standards may negatively impact our access to financing or affect the terms of our future financing arrangements.

 

    Separate legislation has been introduced in both houses of the U.S. congress, which would, among other things, revoke the charters of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and we could be materially adversely affected if these proposed laws were enacted.

 

    The federal conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and related efforts, along with any changes in laws and regulations affecting the relationship between Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the U.S. Government, may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

 

    Continued adverse developments in the broader residential mortgage market have adversely affected Bimini and may materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

 

    Interest rate mismatches between our Agency RMBS and our borrowings may reduce our net interest margin during periods of changing interest rates, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

 

    Increased levels of prepayments on the mortgages underlying our Agency RMBS might decrease net interest income or result in a net loss, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

 

    We invest in structured Agency RMBS, including CMOs, IOs, IIOs and POs. Although structured Agency RMBS are generally subject to the same risks as our pass-through Agency RMBS, certain types of risks may be enhanced depending on the type of structured Agency RMBS in which we invest.

 

    Our use of leverage could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

 

    Adverse market developments could cause our lenders to require us to pledge additional assets as collateral. If our assets were insufficient to meet these collateral requirements, we might be compelled to liquidate particular assets at inopportune times and at unfavorable prices, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

 

    Hedging against interest rate exposure may not completely insulate us from interest rate risk and could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

 

    We are completely dependent upon our Manager and certain key personnel of Bimini who provide services to us through the management agreement, and we may not find suitable replacements for our Manager or these personnel if the management agreement is terminated or such key personnel are no longer available to us.

 

    There are various conflicts of interest in our relationship with our Manager and Bimini, which could result in decisions that are not in the best interest of our stockholders, including possible conflicts created by our Manager’s compensation whereby it is entitled to receive a management fee that is not tied to the performance of our portfolio and possible conflicts of duties that may result from the fact that all of our Manager’s officers are also employees of Bimini.

 

 

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    Loss of our exemption from regulation under the Investment Company Act would negatively affect the value of shares of our common stock and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

 

    Our failure to qualify, or maintain our qualification, as a REIT would subject us to U.S. federal income tax, which could adversely affect the value of the shares of our common stock and would substantially reduce the cash available for distribution to our stockholders.

 

    Legal proceedings involving Bimini and certain of its subsidiaries have adversely affected Bimini, may materially adversely affect Bimini’s and our Manager’s ability to effectively manage our business and could materially adversely affect our reputation, business, operations, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

 

    There may not be an active market for our common stock, which may cause our common stock to trade at a discount and make it difficult to sell the common stock you purchase.

Our Portfolio

As of February 28, 2014, our portfolio consisted of Agency RMBS with a preliminary estimated aggregate fair value of approximately $538.0 million and a preliminary estimated weighted average coupon of 4.03%. The following table summarizes our portfolio as of February 28, 2014:

 

Asset Category

  Fair
Value (1)
    Percentage
of Entire
Portfolio
    Weighted
Average
Coupon
    Weighted
Average
Maturity
in
Months
    Longest
Maturity
    Weighted
Average
Coupon
Reset in
Months
    Weighted
Average
Lifetime
Cap
    Weighted
Average
Periodic
Cap
    Realized
CPR (2)
 

Pass-through Agency RMBS backed by:

                 

Adjustable Rate Mortgages

  $ 5,200       1.0 %     3.95 %     245       9-1-35        2.61        10.13 %     2.00 %     48.73 %

Fixed Rate Mortgages

    427,950       79.5       4.24       311       3-1-44        n/a       n/a        n/a        3.70

Hybrid Adjustable Rate Mortgages

    76,352       14.2       2.55       348       8-1-43        107.60        7.56        2.00        3.46

Total/Weighted Average Mortgage Pass-through Agency RMBS

  $ 509,502       94.7 %     3.98 %     316       3-1-44        100.90        7.72 %     2.00 %     4.18 %

Structured Agency RMBS:

                 

CMOs

  $ —         —   %     —   %     —         —          —          —          —          —   %

IOs

    21,432       4.0       4.48       270       11-25-40       n/a        n/a        n/a        16.91

IIOs

    7,022       1.3       6.08       315       12-15-40       n/a        4.17        n/a       11.65

POs

    —         —         —         —         —          —          —          —          —    

Total/Weighted Average Structured Agency RMBS

    28,454       5.3 %     4.88 %     281       12-15-40       n/a        n/a        n/a        15.63 %

Total/Weighted Average

  $ 537,956       100.0 %     4.03 %     314       3-1-44        n/a       n/a        n/a        7.87 %

 

(1) In thousands.
(2) CPR refers to Constant Prepayment Rate, which is a method of expressing the prepayment rate for a mortgage pool that assumes that a constant fraction of the remaining principal is prepaid each month or year. Specifically, the CPR in the chart above represents the prepayment rate of the securities in the respective asset category for the month of February 2014.

 

 

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GAAP and Non-GAAP Reconciliation

To date, we have used derivatives, specifically Eurodollar futures contracts, to hedge the interest rate risk on repurchase agreements in a rising rate environment. Each Eurodollar contract covers a specific three month period, but we typically have many contracts in place at any point in time — usually covering several years in the aggregate. We have not elected to designate our derivative holdings for hedge accounting treatment under the Financial Accounting Standards Board, or FASB, Accounting Standards Codification, or ASC, Topic 815, Derivatives and Hedging. Changes in fair value of these instruments are presented in a separate line item in our Statements of Operations. As such, for financial reporting purposes, interest expense and cost of funds are not impacted by the fluctuation in value of the Eurodollar futures contracts. In the future, we may use other derivative instruments to hedge our interest expense and/or elect to designate our derivative holdings for hedge accounting treatment.

For the purpose of computing economic net interest income and ratios relating to cost of funds measures, accounting principles generally accepted in the United States, or GAAP, interest expense has been adjusted to reflect the realized gains or losses on specific Eurodollar contracts that pertain to each period presented. As of December 31, 2013, we have Eurodollar futures contracts in place through 2018. Since we have taken short positions on these contracts, when interest rates move higher the value of our short position may increase in value. The opposite would be true if interest rates were to decrease. Adjusting our interest expense for the periods presented by the gains on all Eurodollar futures would not accurately reflect our economic interest expense for these periods. For each period presented we have combined the effects of the Eurodollar positions in place for the respective period with the actual interest expense incurred on repurchase agreements to reflect total expense for the applicable period. Interest expense, including the effect of Eurodollar futures contracts for the period, is referred to as economic interest expense. Net interest income, when calculated to include the effect of Eurodollar futures contracts for the period, is referred to as economic net interest income.

However, under ASC 815, because we have not elected hedging treatment, the gains or losses on all of our Eurodollar futures contracts held during the period are reflected in our consolidated statements of operations. This presentation includes gains or losses on all contracts in effect during the reporting period — covering the current period as well as periods in the future.

We believe that economic interest expense and economic net interest income provides meaningful information to consider, in addition to the respective amounts prepared in accordance with GAAP. The non-GAAP measures help us to evaluate our financial position and performance without the effects of certain transactions and GAAP adjustments that are not necessarily indicative of our current investment portfolio or operations. The realized and unrealized gains or losses presented in our statement of operations are not necessarily representative of the total interest rate expense that we will ultimately realize. This is because as interest rates move up or down in the future, the gains or losses we ultimately realize, and which will affect our total interest rate expense in future periods, may differ from the unrealized gains or losses recognized as of the reporting date.

Our presentation of the economic value of our hedging strategy has important limitations. First, other market participants may calculate economic interest expense and economic net interest income differently than we calculate them. Second, while we believe that the calculation of the economic value of our hedging strategy described above helps to present our financial position and performance, it may be of limited usefulness as an analytical tool. Therefore, the economic value of our investment strategy should not be viewed in isolation and is not a substitute for interest expense and net interest income computed in accordance with GAAP.

 

 

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The following tables present the effect of our hedging strategy on interest expense and net interest income for each quarter during 2013 and 2012.

 

Gains (Losses) on Eurodollar Futures Contracts (in thousands)

 

Three Months Ended

   Recognized in Income
Statement
    Attributed to Future
Periods (Non-GAAP)
    Attributed to Current
Period (Non-GAAP)
 

December 31, 2013

   $ 732     $ 774     $ (42 )

September 30, 2013

     (2,272 )     (2,244 )     (28 )

June 30, 2013

     6,852       6,856       (4 )

March 31, 2013

     (484 )     (419 )     (65 )

December 31, 2012

     (1     61       (62 )

September 30, 2012

     (14 )     14       (28 )

June 30, 2012

     (1 )     9       (10 )

March 31, 2012

     (24 )     (20 )     (4 )

The following table presents the effect of our hedging strategy on interest and net interest income for each quarter during 2013 and 2012.

 

(dollars in thousands)           Interest Expense on Repurchase
Agreements
     Net Interest Income  

Three Months Ended

   Interest
Income
     GAAP Interest
Expense
     Gains
(Losses) on
Eurodollar
Futures
Contracts
Attributed
to Current
Period (1)
    Economic
Interest
Expense (2)
     GAAP Net
Interest
Income
     Economic
Net Interest
Income (3)
 

December 31, 2013

   $ 2,806      $ 309      $ (42 )   $ 351      $ 2,497      $ 2,455  

September 30, 2013

     2,551        294        (28 )     322        2,257        2,229  

June 30, 2013

     2,429        322        (4 )     326        2,107        2,103  

March 31, 2013

     1,412        201        (65 )     266        1,211        1,146  

December 31, 2012

     473        94        (62 )     156        379        317  

September 30, 2012

     697        58        (28 )     86        639        611  

June 30, 2012

     769        74        (10 )     84        695        685  

March 31, 2012

     759        51        (4 )     55        708        704  

 

(1) Reflects the effect of Eurodollar futures contract hedges for only the period presented.
(2) Calculated by subtracting the effect of Eurodollar hedges attributed to the period presented from GAAP interest expense.
(3) Calculated by adding the effect of Eurodollar hedges attributed to the period presented to GAAP net interest income.

 

 

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The table below provides information on our portfolio average balances, interest income, yield on assets, average repurchase agreement balances, economic interest expense, economic cost of funds, economic net interest income and economic net interest spread for the years ended December 31, 2013 and 2012 and for each quarter in 2013 and 2012.

 

(dollars in thousands)  

Three Months Ended

  Average
MBS
Securities
Held (1)
    Interest
Income (2)
    Yield On
Average
MBS
Securities
    Average
Repurchase
Agreements (1)
    Economic
Interest
Expense (3)
    Average
Economic
Cost of
Funds (4)
    Economic
Net
Interest
Income (3)
    Economic
Net
Interest
Spread (5)
 

December 31, 2013

  $ 341,505      $ 2,806        3.29   $ 310,107      $ 351        0.45   $ 2,455        2.84

September 30, 2013

    335,467       2,551       3.04 %     305,196        322       0.42 %     2,229        2.62 %

June 30, 2013

    349,704       2,429       2.78 %     312,591        326       0.42 %     2,103        2.36 %

March 31, 2013

    237,820       1,412       2.38 %     210,194        266       0.51 %     1,146        1.87 %

December 31, 2012

    91,094       473       2.08 %     80,256        156       0.78 %     317        1.30 %

September 30, 2012

    64,378       697       4.33 %     53,698        86       0.64 %     611        3.69 %

June 30, 2012

    73,559       769       4.18 %     62,407        84       0.54 %     685        3.64 %

March 31, 2012

    70,585       759       4.30 %     59,157        55       0.37 %     704        3.93 %

Years Ended

                                   

December 31, 2013

  $ 316,124      $ 9,198        2.91 %   $ 284,522      $ 1,265        0.44 %   $ 7,933        2.47 %

December 31, 2012

    74,904        2,698        3.60 %     63,880        381        0.60 %     2,317        3.00 %

 

(1) Portfolio yields and costs of borrowings presented in the table above and the tables above are calculated based on the average balances of the underlying investment portfolio/repurchase agreement balances and are annualized for the quarterly periods presented. Average balances for quarterly periods are calculated using two data points, the beginning and ending balances. Average balances for the year to date periods are calculated as the average of the average quarterly periods.
(2) Interest income presented in the table above includes only interest earned on the Company’s MBS investments and excludes interest earned on cash balances, and excludes the impact of discounts or premiums on MBS investments, as discounts or premiums are not amortized under the fair value option. Interest income and net portfolio interest income may not agree with the information presented in the statements of operations.
(3) Economic interest expense and economic net interest income presented in the table above and the table above includes the effect of Eurodollar futures contract hedges for only the period presented. For the three month periods ended December 31, 2013 and 2012, total gains (losses) on Eurodollar contracts recognized in our statements of operations for GAAP purposes were $(732,500) and $(225), respectively. For the years ended December 31, 2013 and 2012, total gains (losses) on Eurodollar contracts recognized in our statements of operations for GAAP purposes were $4,828,288 and $(39,725), respectively.
(4) Represents interest cost of our borrowings and effect on Eurodollar futures contracts hedges attributed to the period related to hedging activities Divided by Average MBS Securities Held.
(5) Economic Net Interest Spread is calculated by subtracting Average Economic Cost of Funds from Yield on Average MBS Securities.

 

 

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The following table sets forth, for the periods indicated, information regarding leverage ratio and weighted average CPR.

 

Three Months Ended

   Leverage
Ratio (1)
     Weighted Average
CPR (2)
 

December 31, 2013

     7.1x         9.94

September 30, 2013

     6.7x         12.57 %

June 30, 2013

     6.5x         16.25 %

March 31, 2013

     6.3x         19.97 %

December 31, 2012

     7.1x         28.56 %

September 30, 2012

     3.8x         25.02 %

June 30, 2012

     3.7x         38.65 %

March 31, 2012

     5.2x         23.80 %

December 31, 2011

     3.2x         29.66 %

September 30, 2011

     2.9x         21.12 %

June 30, 2011

     3.0x         18.74 %

March 31, 2011

     3.0x         5.67 %

 

(1) Leverage ratio is calculated by dividing our total liabilities by total equity at the end of each period. At September 30, 2013, $38.7 million of payable for unsettled securities purchased has been excluded from total liabilities for the purpose of calculating this ratio.
(2) The CPR in the chart above represents the three month prepayment rate of the securities in their respective asset category.

Our Financing Strategy

We borrow against our Agency RMBS using short term repurchase agreements. We may use other sources of leverage, such as secured or unsecured debt or issuances of preferred stock. We do not have a policy limiting the amount of leverage we may incur. However, we generally expect that the ratio of our total liabilities compared to our equity, which we refer to as our leverage ratio, will be less than 12 to 1. Our amount of leverage may vary depending on market conditions and other factors that we deem relevant. As of February 28, 2014, our preliminary estimated portfolio leverage ratio was approximately 7.3 to 1. As of February 28, 2014, borrowing rates under our repurchase agreements were materially consistent with borrowing rates as of December 31, 2013. As of February 28, 2014, we had entered into master repurchase agreements with 13 counterparties and had funding in place with 11 counterparties, as described below.

 

Counterparty

   Balance (1)      Percent of
Total
Borrowings
    Weighted Average
Maturity of
Repurchase
Agreements in Days
 

Citigroup Global Markets, Inc.

   $ 143,915        28.5 %     23   

Cantor Fitzgerald & Co.

     54,903        10.9       17  

South Street Securities, LLC

     48,975        9.7       13  

Morgan Stanley & Co

     38,154        7.6       74  

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc.

     45,179        9.0       11  

CRT Capital Group, LLC

     37,136         7.4       23  

KGS-Alpha Capital Markets, L.P.

     25,573        5.1       17  

Goldman, Sachs & Co

     23,919        4.7       14  

Mizuho Securities USA, Inc.

     48,414        9.6       37  

ED&F Man Capital Markets, Inc.

     25,079         5.0        17   

Mitsubishi UFJ Securities (USA), Inc.

     12,703         2.5        28   
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total/Weighted Average

   $ 503,950        100.0 %     25   
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

(1) In thousands.

During the year ended December 31, 2013, the average balance of our repurchase agreement financing was $284.5 million.

 

 

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Recent Developments

In January 2014, we completed a public offering of 2,070,000 shares of our common stock (including 270,000 shares sold pursuant to the full exercise of the overallotment option granted to the underwriters which closed on January 29, 2014) for net proceeds of $24.2 million after deducting underwriters’ discounts and commissions and offering expenses.

On February 11, 2014, we announced that our preliminary estimate of our book value per share as of January 31, 2014 was $12.76. We compute book value per share by dividing total stockholders’ equity by the total number of shares of our common stock outstanding. At January 31, 2014, our preliminary estimated total stockholders’ equity was approximately $69.1 million with 5,411,665 shares of common stock outstanding. This preliminary estimate of our book value per share and stockholders’ equity as of January 31, 2014 could differ from our actual results due to several factors that include, but are not limited to: (i) additional adjustments in the calculation of our book value as of January 31, 2014, (ii) discovery of new information that alters expectations about month-end results or impacts valuation methodologies underlying these results, (iii) errors in the assessment of portfolio value, and (iv) accounting changes required by GAAP. The amounts as of January 31, 2014 and for the month then ended have not been subjected to an audit or review as defined by professional standards by our independent registered public accounting firm and consequently are not considered final and remain subject to change.

On March 11, 2014, we announced that our Board of Directors declared a dividend for the month of March 2014 of $0.18 per share to be paid on March 31, 2014 to holders of record on March 26, 2014 with an ex-dividend date of March 24, 2014. We expect that purchasers of common stock in this offering will be entitled to receive this dividend.

Risk Management

We invest in Agency RMBS to mitigate credit risk. Additionally, our Agency RMBS are backed by a diversified base of mortgage loans to mitigate geographic, loan originator and other types of concentration risks.

Interest Rate Risk Management

We believe that the risk of adverse interest rate movements represents the most significant risk to our portfolio. This risk arises because (i) the interest rate indices used to calculate the interest rates on the mortgages underlying our assets may be different from the interest rate indices used to calculate the interest rates on the related borrowings, and (ii) interest rate movements affecting our borrowings may not be reasonably correlated with interest rate movements affecting our assets. We attempt to mitigate our interest rate risk by using the following techniques:

 

    Agency RMBS Backed by ARMs. We seek to minimize the differences between interest rate indices and interest rate adjustment periods of our Agency RMBS backed by ARMs and related borrowings. At the time of funding, we typically align (i) the underlying interest rate index used to calculate interest rates for our Agency RMBS backed by ARMs and the related borrowings and (ii) the interest rate adjustment periods for our Agency RMBS backed by ARMs and the interest rate adjustment periods for our related borrowings. As our borrowings mature or are renewed, we may adjust the index used to calculate interest expense, the duration of the reset periods and the maturities of our borrowings.

 

    Agency RMBS Backed by Fixed-Rate Mortgages. As interest rates rise, our borrowing costs increase; however, the income on our Agency RMBS backed by fixed-rate mortgages remains unchanged. Subject to qualifying and maintaining our qualification as a REIT, we may seek to limit increases to our borrowing costs through the use of interest rate swap or cap agreements, options, put or call agreements, futures contracts, forward rate agreements or similar financial instruments to effectively convert our floating-rate borrowings into fixed-rate borrowings.

 

 

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    Agency RMBS Backed by Hybrid ARMs. During the fixed-rate period of our Agency RMBS backed by hybrid ARMs, the security is similar to Agency RMBS backed by fixed-rate mortgages. During this period, subject to qualifying and maintaining our qualification as a REIT, we may employ the same hedging strategy that we employ for our Agency RMBS backed by fixed-rate mortgages. Once our Agency RMBS backed by hybrid ARMs convert to floating rate securities, we may employ the same hedging strategy as we employ for our Agency RMBS backed by ARMs.

Additionally, our structured Agency RMBS generally exhibit sensitivities to movements in interest rates different than our pass-through Agency RMBS. To the extent they do so, our structured Agency RMBS may protect us against declines in the market value of our combined portfolio that result from adverse interest rate movements, although we cannot assure you that this will be the case.

Prepayment Risk Management

The risk of mortgage prepayments is another significant risk to our portfolio. When prevailing interest rates fall below the coupon rate of a mortgage, mortgage prepayments are likely to increase. Conversely, when prevailing interest rates increase above the coupon rate of a mortgage, mortgage prepayments are likely to decrease.

When prepayment rates increase, we may not be able to reinvest the money received from prepayments at yields comparable to those of the securities prepaid. Also, some ARMs and hybrid ARMs which back our Agency RMBS may bear initial “teaser” interest rates that are lower than their fully-indexed interest rates. If these mortgages are prepaid during this “teaser” period, we may lose the opportunity to receive interest payments at the higher, fully-indexed rate over the expected life of the security. Additionally, some of our structured Agency RMBS, such as IOs and IIOs, may be negatively affected by an increase in prepayment rates because their value is wholly contingent on the underlying mortgage loans having an outstanding principal balance.

A decrease in prepayment rates may also have an adverse effect on our portfolio. For example, if we invest in POs, the purchase price of such securities will be based, in part, on an assumed level of prepayments on the underlying mortgage loan. Because the returns on POs decrease the longer it takes the principal payments on the underlying loans to be paid, a decrease in prepayment rates could decrease our returns on these securities.

Prepayment risk also affects our hedging activities. When an Agency RMBS backed by a fixed-rate mortgage or hybrid ARM is acquired with borrowings, we may cap or fix our borrowing costs for a period close to the anticipated average life of the fixed-rate portion of the related Agency RMBS. If prepayment rates are different than our projections, the term of the related hedging instrument may not match the fixed-rate portion of the security, which could cause us to incur losses.

Because our business may be adversely affected if prepayment rates are different than our projections, we seek to invest in Agency RMBS backed by mortgages with well-documented and predictable prepayment histories. To protect against increases in prepayment rates, we invest in Agency RMBS backed by mortgages that we believe are less likely to be prepaid. For example, we invest in Agency RMBS backed by mortgages (i) with loan balances low enough such that a borrower would likely have little incentive to refinance, (ii) extended to borrowers with credit histories weak enough to not be eligible to refinance their mortgage loans, (iii) that are newly originated fixed-rate or hybrid ARMs or (iv) that have interest rates low enough such that a borrower would likely have little incentive to refinance. To protect against decreases in prepayment rates, we may also invest in Agency RMBS backed by mortgages with characteristics opposite to those described above, which would typically be more likely to be refinanced. We may also invest in certain types of structured Agency RMBS as a means of mitigating our portfolio-wide prepayment risks. For example, certain tranches of CMOs are less sensitive to increases in prepayment rates, and we may invest in those tranches as a means of hedging against increases in prepayment rates.

 

 

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Liquidity Management Strategy

Because of our use of leverage, we manage liquidity to meet our lenders’ margin calls using the following measures:

 

    Maintaining cash balances or unencumbered assets well in excess of anticipated margin calls; and

 

    Making margin calls on our lenders when we have an excess of collateral pledges against our borrowings.

We also attempt to minimize the number of margin calls we receive by:

 

    Deploying capital from our leveraged Agency RMBS portfolio to our unleveraged Agency RMBS portfolio;

 

    Investing in Agency RMBS backed by mortgages that we believe are less likely to be prepaid to decrease the risk of excessive margin calls when monthly prepayments are announced. Prepayments are declared, and the market value of the related security declines, before the receipt of the related cash flows. Prepayment declarations give rise to a temporary collateral deficiency and generally results in margin calls by lenders;

 

    Obtaining funding arrangements which defer or waive prepayment-related margin requirements in exchange for payments to the lender tied to the dollar amount of the collateral deficiency and a predetermined interest rate; and

 

    Reducing our overall amount of leverage.

Our Management Strategy

On February 20, 2013, we entered into a management agreement with our Manager that governs the relationship between us and our Manager and describes the services provided by our Manager and the compensation for those services. Under the management agreement, our Manager, subject to the supervision of our Board of Directors, is required to oversee our business affairs in conformity with our operating policies and our investment guidelines that are proposed by the investment committee of our Manager and approved by our Board of Directors. Our Manager’s obligations and responsibilities under the management agreement include asset selection, asset and liability management and investment portfolio risk management.

The management agreement has an initial term expiring on February 20, 2016, and will automatically be renewed for one-year terms thereafter unless terminated by us for cause or by us or our Manager upon at least 180-days’ notice prior to the end of the initial term or any automatic renewal term.

The following table summarizes the fees that are payable to our Manager pursuant to the management agreement:

 

Fee

  

Summary Description

Management Fee   

The management fee is payable monthly in arrears in an amount equal to 1/12th of (a) 1.50% of the first $250,000,000 of our equity (as defined below), (b) 1.25% of our equity that is greater than $250,000,000 and less than or equal to $500,000,000, and (c) 1.00% of our equity that is greater than $500,000,000.

 

“Equity” equals our month-end stockholders’ equity, adjusted to exclude the effect of any unrealized gains or losses included in either retained earnings or other comprehensive income (loss), as computed in accordance with GAAP.

 

Under the management agreement, we paid our manager aggregate management fees of $628,800 for the period beginning on February 20, 2013 and ended December 31, 2013.

 

 

 

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Fee

  

Summary Description

Stock-Based Compensation   

Our Manager’s officers and employees are eligible to receive stock awards pursuant to our 2012 Equity Incentive Plan.

 

Expense Reimbursement   

We reimburse any expenses directly related to our operations incurred by our Manager, excluding personnel-related expenses of our Manager or of Bimini (other than the compensation of our Chief Financial Officer), which include services provided to us pursuant to the management agreement. We reimburse our Manager for our allocable share of the compensation of our Chief Financial Officer based on our percentage of the aggregate amount of our Manager’s assets under management and Bimini’s assets. We also reimburse our pro rata portion of our Manager’s and Bimini’s overhead expenses based on our percentage of the aggregate amount of our Manager’s assets under management and Bimini’s assets.

 

We have not reimbursed our Manager for any expenses for the period beginning February 20, 2013 and ended December 31, 2013. Pursuant to the terms of the management agreement, we are not obligated to reimburse our pro rata portion of our Manager’s and Bimini’s overhead expenses until our aggregate stockholders’ equity equals $100 million or more.

 

Termination Fee    The termination fee, payable for non-renewal of the management agreement without cause, will be equal to three times the sum of the average annual management fee earned by our Manager during the prior 24-month period immediately preceding the most recently completed calendar quarter prior to the effective date of termination.

Overhead Sharing Agreement

On February 20, 2013, our Manager entered into an overhead sharing agreement with Bimini. Pursuant to this agreement, our Manager is provided with access to, among other things, Bimini’s portfolio management, asset valuation, risk management and asset management services as well as administration services addressing accounting, financial reporting, legal, compliance, investor relations and information technologies necessary for the performance of our Manager’s duties in exchange for a reimbursement of the Manager’s allocable cost for these services. The reimbursement paid by our Manager pursuant to this agreement will not constitute an expense under the management agreement.

Conflicts of Interest; Equitable Allocation of Opportunities

Bimini invests solely in Agency RMBS and, because it is internally-managed, does not pay a management fee. Additionally, Bimini, as the sole member of our Manager, will indirectly receive the management fees earned by our Manager through reimbursement payments under the overhead sharing agreement and our Manager’s payment of distributions to Bimini. Our Manager may in the future manage other funds, accounts and investment vehicles that have strategies that are similar to our strategy, although our Manager currently does not manage any other funds, accounts or investment vehicles. Our Manager and Bimini make available to us opportunities to acquire assets that they determine, in their reasonable and good faith judgment, based on our objectives, policies and strategies, and other relevant factors, are appropriate for us in accordance with their written investment allocation procedures and policies, subject to the exception that we might not be offered each such opportunity, but will on an overall basis equitably participate with Bimini and our Manager’s other accounts in all such opportunities when considered together. Bimini and our Manager have agreed not to sponsor another

 

 

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REIT that has substantially the same investment strategy as Bimini or us prior to the earlier of (i) the termination or expiration of the management agreement or (ii) our Manager no longer being a subsidiary or affiliate of Bimini.

Because many of our targeted assets are typically available only in specified quantities and because many of our targeted assets are also targeted assets for Bimini and may be targeted assets for other accounts our Manager may manage in the future, neither Bimini nor our Manager may be able to buy as much of any given asset as required to satisfy the needs of Bimini, us and any other account our Manager may manage in the future. In these cases, our Manager’s and Bimini’s investment allocation procedures and policies will typically allocate such assets to multiple accounts in proportion to their needs and available capital. The policies will permit departure from such proportional allocation when (i) allocating purchases of whole-pool Agency RMBS, because those securities cannot be divided into multiple parts to be allocated among various accounts, and (ii) such allocation would result in an inefficiently small amount of the security being purchased for an account. In these cases, the policy allows for a protocol of allocating assets so that, on an overall basis, each account is treated equitably. Specifically, the investment allocation procedures and policies stipulate that our Manager and Bimini will base the allocation of investment opportunities in good faith and principally on the following factors:

 

    the primary investment strategy and the stage of portfolio development of each account;

 

    the effect of the potential investment on the diversification of each account’s portfolio by coupon, purchase price, size, prepayment characteristics and leverage;

 

    the cash requirements of each account;

 

    the anticipated cash flow of each account’s portfolio; and

 

    the amount of funds available to each account and the length of time such funds have been available for investment.

Our independent directors conduct quarterly reviews with our Manager of its allocation decisions, if any, and discuss with our Manager the portfolio needs of each account for the next quarter and whether such needs will give rise to an asset allocation conflict and, if so, the potential resolution of such conflict.

Other policies that our Manager applies to the management of the Company include controls for cross transactions (transactions between managed accounts (including us)), principal transactions (transactions between Bimini or our Manager and a managed account (including us)) and split price executions. To date we have not entered into any cross transactions but we have entered into one principal transaction prior to our initial public offering and have conducted split price executions. See “Our Manager and the Management Agreement — Conflicts of Interest; Equitable Allocation of Opportunities” and “Certain Relationships and Related Transactions” for a more detailed description of these types of transactions, the principal transaction we have entered into with Bimini and the policies of Bimini and our Manager that govern these types of transactions. We currently do not anticipate that we will enter into any additional cross transactions or principal transactions.

We are entirely dependent on our Manager for our day-to-day management and do not have any independent officers. Our executive officers are also executive officers of Bimini and our Manager, and none of them will devote his time to us exclusively. We compete with Bimini and will compete with any other account managed by our Manager or other RMBS investment vehicles that may be sponsored by Bimini in the future for access to these individuals.

John B. Van Heuvelen, one of our independent director nominees, owns shares of common stock of Bimini. Mr. Cauley, our Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of our Board of Directors, also serves as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bimini and owns shares of common stock of Bimini. Mr. Haas, our Chief Financial Officer, Chief Investment Officer, Secretary and a member of our Board of

 

 

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Directors, also serves as the Chief Financial Officer, Chief Investment Officer and Treasurer of Bimini and owns shares of common stock of Bimini. Accordingly, Messrs. Van Heuvelen, Cauley and Haas may have a conflict of interest with respect to actions by our Board of Directors that relate to Bimini or our Manager.

Because our executive officers are also officers of our Manager, the terms of our management agreement, including fees payable, were not negotiated on an arm’s-length basis, and its terms may not be as favorable to us as if it was negotiated with an unaffiliated party.

The management fee we pay to our Manager will be paid regardless of our performance and it may not provide sufficient incentive to our Manager to seek to achieve attractive risk-adjusted returns for our investment portfolio.

Our Formation and Structure

We were formed by Bimini as a Maryland corporation in August 2010. Bimini currently owns approximately 18.1% of our outstanding common stock. The following chart illustrates our ownership structure immediately after completion of this offering assuming no exercise of the underwriters’ overallotment option.

 

LOGO

Tax Structure

We have been organized and have operated so as to qualify to be taxed as a REIT. We will elect to be taxed as a REIT beginning with our 2013 taxable year, upon the filing of our federal income tax return for such year. Our qualification as a REIT and the maintenance of such qualification depends upon our ability to meet, on a continuing basis, various complex requirements under the Code relating to, among other things, the sources of our gross income, the composition and values of our assets, our distribution levels and the concentration of ownership of our capital stock. We believe that we have been organized and have operated in conformity with the requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT under the Code, and we intend to continue to operate in a manner that will enable us to meet the requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT. In connection with this offering, we will receive an opinion from Hunton & Williams LLP to the effect that we qualified to be taxed as a REIT under the Code for our taxable year ended December 31, 2013, and that our organization and current and proposed method of operation will enable us to continue to qualify for taxation as a REIT for our taxable year ending December 31, 2014 and thereafter.

As a REIT, we generally are not subject to U.S. federal income tax on the REIT taxable income that we currently distribute to our stockholders, but taxable income generated by any taxable REIT subsidiary, or TRS,

 

 

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that we may form or acquire will be subject to federal, state and local income tax. Under the Code, REITs are subject to numerous organizational and operational requirements, including a requirement that they distribute annually at least 90% of their REIT taxable income, determined without regard to the deduction for dividends paid and excluding any net capital gains. If we fail to qualify as a REIT in any calendar year and do not qualify for certain statutory relief provisions, our income would be subject to U.S. federal income tax (and any applicable state and local taxes), and we would likely be precluded from qualifying for treatment as a REIT until the fifth calendar year following the year in which we failed to qualify. As a REIT, we may still be subject to certain federal, state and local taxes on our income and assets and to U.S. federal income and excise taxes on our undistributed income.

Our Distribution Policy

To qualify as a REIT, we must distribute annually to our stockholders an amount at least equal to 90% of our REIT taxable income, determined without regard to the deduction for dividends paid and excluding any net capital gain. We are subject to income tax on our taxable income that is not distributed and to an excise tax to the extent that certain percentages of our taxable income are not distributed by specified dates. See “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations.” Income as computed for purposes of the foregoing tax rules will not necessarily correspond to our income as determined for financial reporting purposes pursuant to GAAP. Our cash available for distribution may be less than the amount required to meet the distribution requirements for REITs under the Code, and we may be required to borrow money, sell assets or make taxable distributions of our capital stock or debt securities to satisfy the distribution requirements. Additionally, we may pay future distributions from the proceeds from this offering or other securities offerings, and thus all or a portion of such distributions may constitute a return of capital for U.S. federal income tax purposes. We do not currently intend to pay future distributions from the proceeds of this offering.

Any distributions that we make on our common stock will be authorized by and at the discretion of our Board of Directors and declared by us based upon a variety of factors deemed relevant by our directors, which may include among other things, our actual results of operations, restrictions under applicable law, our capital requirements and the REIT requirements of the Code. We have not established a minimum payment distribution level, and we cannot assure you of our ability to make distributions to our stockholders in the future.

Distributions to stockholders generally will be taxable to our stockholders as ordinary income, although a portion of such distributions may be designated by us as long-term capital gain or qualified dividend income or may constitute a return of capital. We will furnish annually to each of our stockholders a statement setting forth distributions paid during the preceding year and their U.S. federal income tax treatment. For a discussion of the U.S. federal income tax treatment of our distributions, see “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations.”

Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer of Our Capital Stock

Due to limitations on the concentration of ownership of REIT stock imposed by the Code, subject to certain exceptions, our charter provides that no person may beneficially or constructively own more than 9.8% in value or in number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of the outstanding shares of any class or series of our capital stock, except that Bimini may own up to 35.0% of our common stock so long as Bimini continues to qualify as a REIT. See “Description of Our Capital Stock — Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer.”

Our charter also prohibits any person from, among other matters:

 

    beneficially or constructively owning or transferring shares of our capital stock if such ownership or transfer would result in our being “closely held” within the meaning of Section 856(h) of the Code (without regard to whether the ownership interest is held during the last half of a taxable year) or otherwise cause us to fail to qualify as a REIT; and

 

 

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    transferring shares of our capital stock if such transfer would result in our capital stock being owned by less than 100 persons (determined under the principles of Section 856(a)(5) of the Code).

Our Board of Directors may, in its sole discretion, exempt (prospectively or retroactively) a person from the 9.8% ownership limit and other restrictions in our charter and may establish or increase an excepted holder percentage limit for such person if our Board of Directors obtains such representations, covenants and undertakings as it deems appropriate in order to conclude that granting the exemption and/or establishing or increasing the excepted holder percentage limit will not cause us to lose our qualification as a REIT.

Our charter also provides that any ownership or purported transfer of our capital stock in violation of the foregoing restrictions will result in the shares owned or transferred in such violation being automatically transferred to a charitable trust for the benefit of a charitable beneficiary and the purported owner or transferee acquiring no rights in such shares, except that any transfer that results in the violation of the restriction relating to shares of our capital stock being beneficially owned by fewer than 100 persons will be void ab initio. Additionally, if the transfer to the trust is ineffective for any reason to prevent a violation of the restriction, the transfer that would have resulted in such violation will be void ab initio.

Investment Company Act Exemption

We operate our business so that we are exempt from registration under the Investment Company Act. We rely on the exemption provided by Section 3(c)(5)(C) of the Investment Company Act, which applies to companies in the business of purchasing or otherwise acquiring mortgages and other liens on, and interests in, real estate. We monitor our portfolio periodically and prior to each investment to confirm that we continue to qualify for the exemption. To qualify for the exemption, we make investments so that at least 55% of the assets we own on an unconsolidated basis consist of qualifying mortgages and other liens on and interests in real estate, which we refer to as qualifying real estate assets, and so that at least 80% of the assets we own on an unconsolidated basis consist of real estate-related assets, including our qualifying real estate assets.

We treat whole-pool pass-through Agency RMBS as qualifying real estate assets based on no-action letters issued by the Staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission, or the SEC. In August 2011, the SEC, through a concept release, requested comments on interpretations of Section 3(c)(5)(C). To the extent that the SEC or its staff publishes new or different guidance with respect to these matters, we may fail to qualify for this exemption. Our Manager intends to manage our pass-through Agency RMBS portfolio such that we will have sufficient whole-pool pass-through Agency RMBS to ensure we retain our exemption from registration under the Investment Company Act. At present, we generally do not expect that our investments in structured Agency RMBS will constitute qualifying real estate assets but will constitute real estate-related assets for purposes of the Investment Company Act.

Our Corporate Information

Our offices are located at 3305 Flamingo Drive, Vero Beach, Florida 32963, and the telephone number of our offices is (772) 231-1400. Our internet address is www.orchidislandcapital.com. Our internet site and the information contained therein or connected thereto do not constitute a part of this prospectus or any amendment or supplement thereto.

 

 

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The Offering

 

Common stock offered by us in this offering

4,000,000 shares (1)

 

Common stock to be outstanding after this offering

9,411,665 shares (1)(2)

 

Use of proceeds

We estimate that the net proceeds we will receive from this offering will be approximately $50.6 million (or approximately $58.2 million if the underwriters fully exercise their overallotment option), after deducting the underwriting discount and commissions of approximately $2.7 million (or approximately $3.1 million if the underwriters fully exercise their overallotment option) and estimated offering expenses of approximately $0.16 million payable by us.

 

  We intend to invest the net proceeds of this offering in (i) pass-through Agency RMBS backed by hybrid ARMs, ARMs and fixed-rate mortgage loans and (ii) structured Agency RMBS. Specifically, we intend to invest the net proceeds of this offering as follows:

 

    Approximately 40% to 80% in pass-through Agency RMBS. Of the 40% to 80% of the net proceeds allocated to pass-through Agency RMBS, the net proceeds will be further allocated as follows:

 

    approximately 50% to 100% in pass-through Agency RMBS backed by fixed-rate mortgage loans;

 

    approximately 0% to 75% in pass-through Agency RMBS backed by ARMs; and

 

    approximately 0% to 75% in pass-through Agency RMBS backed by hybrid ARMs.

 

    The remaining 20% to 60% of the proceeds will be allocated to structured Agency RMBS.

 

  We expect to borrow against the pass-through Agency RMBS and certain of our structured Agency RMBS that we purchase with the net proceeds of this offering through repurchase agreements and use the proceeds of the borrowings to acquire additional pass-through Agency RMBS and structured Agency RMBS in accordance with a similar targeted allocation. We reserve the right to change our targeted allocation depending on prevailing market conditions, including, among others, the pricing and supply of pass-through Agency RMBS and structured Agency RMBS, the performance of our portfolio and the availability and terms of financing.

 

Distribution policy

To qualify as a REIT, U.S. federal income tax law generally requires that we distribute annually at least 90% of our REIT taxable income, determined without regard to the deduction for dividends paid and excluding net capital gains, and that we pay tax at regular corporate rates on any undistributed REIT taxable income. We have not

 

 

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established a minimum distribution payment level, and we cannot assure you of our ability to make distributions to our stockholders in the future. In connection with these requirements, we intend to make regular monthly distributions of all or substantially all of our net taxable income to our stockholders. Any distributions we make will be authorized by and at the discretion of our Board of Directors and will depend upon a variety of factors deemed relevant by our directors, including, among other things, our actual results of operations, restrictions under applicable law, our capital requirements and the REIT requirements of the Code. For more information, please see “Distribution Policy” and “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations.”

 

NYSE MKT symbol

“ORC”

 

Ownership and transfer restrictions

To assist us in qualifying as a REIT, among other purposes, our charter generally limits beneficial and constructive ownership by any person to no more than 9.8% in value or in number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of the outstanding shares of any class or series of our capital stock, except that Bimini may own up to 35.0% of our common stock so long as Bimini continues to qualify as a REIT. In addition, our charter contains various other restrictions on the ownership and transfer of our common stock. See “Description of Capital Stock — Restrictions on Ownership and Transfer.”

 

Risk factors

Investing in our common stock involves a high degree of risk. See “Risk Factors” beginning on page 24.

 

(1) Assumes the underwriters’ overallotment option to purchase up to an additional 600,000 shares of our common stock is not exercised.
(2) The number of shares of common stock to be outstanding immediately after the closing of this offering excludes an aggregate of 4,000,000 shares of common stock available for issuance pursuant to our 2012 Equity Incentive Plan.

 

 

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SPECIAL NOTE REGARDING FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS

We make forward-looking statements in this prospectus that are subject to risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements include information about possible or assumed future results of our business, financial condition, liquidity, results of operations, plans and objectives. When we use the words “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “estimate,” “intend,” “should,” “may,” “plans,” “projects,” “will,” or similar expressions, or the negative of these words, we intend to identify forward-looking statements. Statements regarding the following subjects are forward-looking by their nature:

 

    our business and investment strategy;

 

    our ability to deploy effectively and timely the net proceeds of this offering;

 

    our expected operating results;

 

    our ability to acquire investments on attractive terms;

 

    the effect of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s and the U.S. Treasury’s recent actions on the liquidity of our target assets and the capital markets;

 

    the federal conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and related efforts, along with any changes in laws and regulations affecting the relationship between Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the U.S. Government;

 

    mortgage loan modification programs and future legislative action;

 

    our ability to access the capital markets;

 

    our ability to obtain future financing arrangements;

 

    our ability to successfully hedge the interest rate risk and prepayment risk associated with our portfolio;

 

    our ability to make distributions to our stockholders in the future;

 

    our understanding of our competition and our ability to compete effectively;

 

    our ability to qualify and maintain our qualification as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes;

 

    our ability to maintain our exemption from registration under the Investment Company Act;

 

    our ability to maintain the listing of our common stock on the NYSE MKT;

 

    market trends;

 

    the impact of an inability to reach an agreement on the national debt ceiling;

 

    the effect of actual or proposed actions of the U.S. Federal Reserve with respect to monetary policy, inflation or the taper of existing financial asset purchases;

 

    expected capital expenditures; and

 

    the impact of technology on our operations and business.

The forward-looking statements are based on our beliefs, assumptions and expectations of our future performance, taking into account all information currently available to us. Although we believe that the expectations reflected in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, we cannot guarantee future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements. These beliefs, assumptions and expectations can change as a result of many possible events or factors, not all of which are known to us. If a change occurs, our business, financial condition, liquidity and results of operations may vary materially from those expressed in our forward-looking statements. Except as required by law, we are not obligated to update or revise any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

 

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When considering forward-looking statements, you should keep in mind the risks and other cautionary statements set forth in this prospectus, including those contained in “Risk Factors.” Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any of these forward-looking statements, which reflect our views as of the date of this prospectus. You should carefully consider these risks when you make a decision concerning an investment in our common stock, along with the following factors, among others, that may cause actual results to vary from our forward-looking statements:

 

    general volatility of the securities markets in which we invest and the market price of our common stock;

 

    our limited operating history;

 

    changes in our business or investment strategy;

 

    changes in interest rate spreads or the yield curve;

 

    availability, terms and deployment of debt and equity capital;

 

    availability of qualified personnel;

 

    the degree and nature of our competition;

 

    increased prepayments of the mortgage loans underlying our Agency RMBS;

 

    risks associated with our hedging activities;

 

    changes in governmental regulations, tax rates and similar matters; and

 

    defaults on our investments.

 

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RISK FACTORS

You should carefully consider the risks described below relating to this offering and certain aspects of our business before making an investment decision. Our business, financial condition or results of operations could be harmed by any of these risks. Similarly, these risks could cause the market price of our common stock to decline and you might lose all or part of your investment. Our forward-looking statements in this prospectus are subject to the following risks and uncertainties. Our actual results could differ materially from those anticipated by our forward-looking statements as a result of the risk factors below.

Risks Related to this Offering

The market of our common stock may be volatile following this offering.

The market value of shares of our common stock may be based primarily upon current and future cash dividends, and the market price of shares of our common stock will be influenced by the dividends on those shares relative to market interest rates. Rising interest rates may lead potential buyers of our common stock to expect a higher dividend rate, which would adversely affect the market price of our common stock. As a result, the market price of our common stock may be highly volatile and subject to wide price fluctuations. In addition, the trading volume in our common stock may fluctuate and cause significant price variations to occur. Some of the factors that could negatively affect the share price or trading volume of our common stock include:

 

    actual or anticipated variations in our quarterly operating results or distributions;

 

    actual or anticipated variations in our quarterly operating results or distributions;

 

    changes in our earnings estimates or publication of research reports about us or the real estate or specialty finance industry;

 

    increases in market interest rates that lead purchasers of our common stock to demand a higher dividend yield;

 

    changes in market valuations of similar companies;

 

    adverse market reaction to any increased indebtedness we incur in the future;

 

    a change in our Manager or additions or departures of key management personnel;

 

    actions by institutional stockholders;

 

    speculation in the press or investment community; and

 

    general market and economic conditions.

If the market price of our common stock declines significantly, you may be unable to resell your shares at or above the offering price. We cannot assure you that the market price of our common stock will not fluctuate or decline significantly in the future.

You should not rely on lock-up agreements in connection with this offering to limit the amount of our common stock sold into the market.

We and each of our directors and executive officers and Bimini will agree that, for a period of 30 days after the date of this prospectus, without the prior written consent of Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. Inc., we and they will not sell, dispose of or hedge any shares of our common stock, subject to certain exceptions and extensions in certain circumstances.

There are no present agreements between Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. Inc. and any of Bimini, our directors, our executive officers or us to release any of them or us from these lock-up agreements. However, we cannot predict the circumstances or timing under which Ladenburg Thalmann & Co. Inc. may waive these restrictions. These sales or a perception that these sales may occur could reduce the market price of our common stock.

 

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Because our management will have broad discretion over the use of the net proceeds from this offering, you may not agree with how we use the proceeds, and we may not invest the proceeds successfully.

We intend to invest the net proceeds of this offering in (i) pass-through Agency RMBS backed by hybrid ARMs, ARMs and fixed-rate mortgage loans and (ii) structured Agency RMBS. Our management may invest the proceeds as it deems appropriate. In addition, market factors may require our management to allocate portions of the proceeds for other purposes. Accordingly, you will be relying on the judgment of our management with regard to the use of the proceeds from this offering, and you will not have the opportunity, as part of your investment decision, to assess whether we are using the proceeds appropriately. It is possible that we may invest the proceeds in a way that does not yield a favorable, or any, return for us.

There are material limitations in estimating our results for prior periods before the completion of our and our auditors’ normal review procedures for such period.

The preliminary estimated financial information set forth in this prospectus under the heading “Prospectus Summary—Recent Developments” is not a comprehensive statement of our financial condition as of January 31, 2014 or February 28, 2014, and such estimated information has not been reviewed or audited by our independent registered public accounting firm. Actual financial information as of January 31, 2014 or February 28, 2014, when finally determined, may vary from our estimates and may be materially different from the preliminary estimates we have provided. Accordingly, investors should not place undue reliance on such financial information.

Risks Related to Our Business

The U.S. Federal Reserve’s recent announcement that it would reduce its monthly purchases pursuant to QE3 could impact the market for and value of the Agency RMBS in which we invest as well as our net asset value and net interest margin.

On September 13, 2012, the U.S. Federal Reserve announced a third round of quantitative easing (“QE3”), which is an open-ended program designed to expand the Federal Reserve’s holdings of long-term securities by purchasing an additional $40 billion of Agency RMBS per month until key economic indicators, such as the unemployment rate, show signs of improvement. In December 2012, the U.S. Federal Reserve announced that it would begin buying $45 billion of long-term Treasury bonds each month. On December 18, 2013, the U.S. Federal Reserve announced that it would reduce its purchases of Agency RMBS by $5 billion per month and reduce its purchases of Treasury bonds by $5 billion per month beginning in January 2014. On January 29, 2014, the U.S. Federal Reserve announced additional $5 billion reductions to its monthly purchases of both Agency RMBS and Treasury bonds to take effect in February 2014.

The immediate effect of the announcement of QE3 was an increase in Agency RMBS prices. Since the initial price spike, prices for all securities have receded below the price levels that existed before the announcement of QE3. It is unclear what effect, if any, the incremental reduction in the rate of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s monthly purchases will have on the value of the Agency RMBS in which we invest. However, it is possible that the market for such securities, the price of such securities and, as a result, our net asset value and net interest margin could be negatively affected.

Adverse developments in the broader residential mortgage market may materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

The residential mortgage market in the United States has experienced a variety of difficulties and changed economic conditions, including defaults, credit losses and liquidity concerns over the past few years. In addition, certain commercial banks, investment banks and insurance companies have announced extensive losses from exposure to the residential mortgage market. These losses have reduced financial industry capital, leading to reduced liquidity for some institutions. These factors have impacted investor perception of the risk associated

 

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with real estate-related assets, including Agency RMBS. As a result, values for RMBS, including some Agency RMBS and other AAA-rated RMBS assets, have been negatively impacted at times. Further increased volatility and deterioration in the broader residential mortgage and RMBS markets may adversely affect the performance and market value of the Agency RMBS in which we invest.

We rely on our Agency RMBS as collateral for our financings. Any decline in their value, or perceived market uncertainty about their value, would likely make it difficult for us to obtain financing on favorable terms or at all or maintain our compliance with terms of any financing arrangements already in place. Additionally, we have elected to account for our investment in RMBS under the fair value option and, therefore, such investment will be reported on our financial statements at fair value with unrealized gains or losses included in earnings. If market conditions result in a decline in the value of our Agency RMBS, our business, financial position and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders could be materially adversely affected.

Interest rate mismatches between our Agency RMBS and our borrowings may reduce our net interest margin during periods of changing interest rates, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

Our portfolio includes Agency RMBS backed by ARMs, hybrid ARMs and fixed-rate mortgages, and the mix of these securities in the portfolio may be increased or decreased over time. Additionally, the interest rates on ARMs and hybrid ARMs may vary over time based on changes in a short-term interest rate index, of which there are many.

We finance our acquisitions of pass-through Agency RMBS with short-term financing. During periods of rising short-term interest rates, the income we earn on these securities will not change (with respect to Agency RMBS backed by fixed-rate mortgage loans) or will not increase at the same rate (with respect to Agency RMBS backed by ARMs and hybrid ARMs) as our related financing costs, which may reduce our net interest margin or result in losses.

Members of the U.S. Senate Banking Committee have recently announced an agreement on a housing finance and reform proposal that, among other things, would wind down and eliminate Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and we cannot predict how this proposed legislation will impact us.

On June 25, 2013, a bipartisan group of senators introduced the Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act of 2013, or the Housing Finance Reform Act, to the U.S. Senate. On March 11, 2014, leading members of the Senate Banking Committee announced an agreement on a housing finance reform proposal that would be based, in large part, on the proposed Housing Finance Reform Act.

The Housing Finance Reform Act calls for the revocation of the charters of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and seeks to increase the opportunities for private capital to participate in, and consequently bear the risk of loss in connection with, government guaranteed mortgage backed securities. The passage of any new legislation affecting Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may create market uncertainty and reduce the actual or perceived credit quality of securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government through a new or existing successor entity to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. If the charters of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are revoked, it is unclear what effect, if any, this would have on the value of the existing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Agency RMBS. It is also possible that the above-referenced proposed legislation, if made law, could adversely impact the market for securities issued or guaranteed by the U.S. government and the spreads at which they trade. The foregoing could materially adversely affect the pricing, supply, liquidity and value of our target assets and otherwise materially adversely affect our business, operations and financial condition.

 

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We cannot predict the impact, if any, on our earnings or cash available for distribution to our stockholders of the FHFA’s proposed revisions to Fannie Mae’s, Freddie Mac’s and Ginnie Mae’s existing infrastructures to align the standards and practices of the three entities.

On February 21, 2012, the FHFA released its Strategic Plan for Enterprise Conservatorships, which set forth three goals for the next phase of the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conservatorships. These three goals are to (i) build a new infrastructure for the secondary mortgage market, (ii) gradually contract Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s presence in the marketplace while simplifying and shrinking their operations, and (iii) maintain foreclosure prevention activities and credit availability for new and refinanced mortgages. On October 4, 2012, the FHFA released its white paper entitled Building a New Infrastructure for the Secondary Mortgage Market, which proposes a new infrastructure for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that has two basic goals.

The first such goal is to replace the current, outdated infrastructures of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with a common, more efficient infrastructure that aligns the standards and practices of the two entities, beginning with core functions performed by both entities such as issuance, master servicing, bond administration, collateral management and data integration. The second goal is to establish an operating framework for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that is consistent with the progress of housing finance reform and encourages and accommodates the increased participation of private capital in assuming credit risk associated with the secondary mortgage market.

The FHFA recognizes that there are a number of impediments to their goals which may or may not be surmountable, such as the absence of any significant secondary mortgage market mechanisms beyond Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae, and that their proposals are in the formative stages. As a result, it is unclear if the proposals will be enacted. If such proposals are enacted, it is unclear how closely what is enacted will resemble the proposals from the FHFA white paper or what the effects of the enactment will be in terms of our net asset value, earnings or cash available for distribution to our stockholders.

Mortgage loan modification programs and future legislative action may adversely affect the value of, and the returns on, our Agency RMBS, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

During the second half of 2008, the U.S. Government commenced programs designed to provide homeowners with assistance in avoiding residential mortgage loan foreclosures. The programs involve, among other things, the modification of mortgage loans to reduce the principal amount of the loans or the rate of interest payable on the loans, or to extend the payment terms of the loans.

In addition, in February 2008, the U.S. Treasury announced the Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan, or HASP, which is a multi-faceted plan intended to prevent residential mortgage foreclosures by, among other things:

 

    allowing certain homeowners whose homes are encumbered by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac conforming mortgages to refinance those mortgages into lower interest rate mortgages with either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac;

 

    creating the Homeowner Stability Initiative, which is intended to utilize various incentives for banks and mortgage servicers to modify residential mortgage loans with the goal of reducing monthly mortgage principal and interest payments for certain qualified homeowners; and

 

    allowing judicial modifications of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conforming residential mortgages loans during bankruptcy proceedings.

In October 2011, the FHFA announced proposed changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program, or HARP, that would expand access to refinancing for qualified individuals and families whose homes have lost value by, among other things, increasing the HARP loan-to-value ratio above 125%. However, this would only

 

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apply to mortgages guaranteed by the GSEs. There are many challenging issues to this proposal, notably the question as to whether a loan with a loan-to-value ratio of 125% qualifies as a mortgage or an unsecured consumer loan.

On January 4, 2012, the Federal Reserve issued a white paper outlining additional ideas with regard to refinancings and loan modifications. It is likely that loan modifications would result in increased prepayments on some Agency RMBS. As described elsewhere, prepayments could negatively affect the value of our Agency RMBS, which could result in reduced earnings or losses and negatively affect the cash available for distribution to our stockholders. These initiatives, any future loan modification programs and future legislative or regulatory actions, including amendments to the bankruptcy laws, that result in the modification of outstanding mortgage loans may adversely affect the value of, and the returns on, the Agency RMBS in which we invest.

We invest in structured Agency RMBS, including CMOs, IOs, IIOs and POs. Although structured Agency RMBS are generally subject to the same risks as our pass-through Agency RMBS, certain types of risks may be enhanced depending on the type of structured Agency RMBS in which we invest.

The structured Agency RMBS in which we invest are securitizations (i) issued by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or Ginnie Mae, (ii) collateralized by Agency RMBS and (iii) divided into various tranches that have different characteristics (such as different maturities or different coupon payments). These securities may carry greater risk than an investment in pass-through Agency RMBS. For example, certain types of structured Agency RMBS, such as IOs, IIOs and POs, are more sensitive to prepayment risks than pass-through Agency RMBS. If we were to invest in structured Agency RMBS that were more sensitive to prepayment risks relative to other types of structured Agency RMBS or pass-through Agency RMBS, we may increase our portfolio-wide prepayment risk.

Increased levels of prepayments on the mortgages underlying our Agency RMBS might decrease net interest income or result in a net loss, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

In the case of residential mortgages, there are seldom any restrictions on borrowers’ ability to prepay their loans. Prepayment rates generally increase when interest rates fall and decrease when interest rates rise. Prepayment rates also may be affected by other factors, including, without limitation, conditions in the housing and financial markets, governmental action, general economic conditions and the relative interest rates on ARMs, hybrid ARMs and fixed-rate mortgage loans. With respect to pass-through Agency RMBS, faster-than-expected prepayments could also materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders in various ways, including the following:

 

    a portion of our pass-through Agency RMBS backed by ARMs and hybrid ARMs may initially bear interest at rates that are lower than their fully indexed rates, which are equivalent to the applicable index rate plus a margin. If a pass-through Agency RMBS backed by ARMs or hybrid ARMs is prepaid prior to or soon after the time of adjustment to a fully-indexed rate, we will have held that Agency RMBS while it was less profitable and lost the opportunity to receive interest at the fully-indexed rate over the remainder of its expected life.

 

    if we are unable to acquire new Agency RMBS to replace the prepaid Agency RMBS, our returns on capital may be lower than if we were able to quickly acquire new Agency RMBS.

When we acquire structured Agency RMBS, we anticipate that the underlying mortgages will prepay at a projected rate, generating an expected yield. When the prepayment rates on the mortgages underlying our structured Agency RMBS are higher than expected, our returns on those securities may be materially adversely affected. For example, the value of our IOs and IIOs are extremely sensitive to prepayments because holders of these securities do not have the right to receive any principal payments on the underlying mortgages. Therefore, if the mortgage loans underlying our IOs and IIOs are prepaid, such securities would cease to have any value, which, in turn, could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

 

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While we seek to minimize prepayment risk, we must balance prepayment risk against other risks and the potential returns of each investment. No strategy can completely insulate us from prepayment or other such risks.

A decrease in prepayment rates on the mortgages underlying our Agency RMBS might decrease net interest income or result in a net loss, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

Certain of our structured Agency RMBS may be adversely affected by a decrease in prepayment rates. For example, because POs are similar to zero-coupon bonds, our expected returns on such securities will be contingent on our receiving the principal payments of the underlying mortgage loans at expected intervals that assume a certain prepayment rate. If prepayment rates are lower than expected, we will not receive principal payments as quickly as we anticipated and, therefore, our expected returns on these securities will be adversely affected, which, in turn, could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

While we seek to minimize prepayment risk, we must balance prepayment risk against other risks and the potential returns of each investment. No strategy can completely insulate us from prepayment or other such risks.

Interest rate caps on the ARMs and hybrid ARMs backing our Agency RMBS may reduce our net interest margin during periods of rising interest rates, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

ARMs and hybrid ARMs are typically subject to periodic and lifetime interest rate caps. Periodic interest rate caps limit the amount an interest rate can increase during any given period. Lifetime interest rate caps limit the amount an interest rate can increase through the maturity of the loan. Our borrowings typically are not subject to similar restrictions. Accordingly, in a period of rapidly increasing interest rates, our financing costs could increase without limitation while caps could limit the interest we earn on the ARMs and hybrid ARMs backing our Agency RMBS. This problem is magnified for ARMs and hybrid ARMs that are not fully indexed because such periodic interest rate caps prevent the coupon on the security from fully reaching the specified rate in one reset. Further, some ARMs and hybrid ARMs may be subject to periodic payment caps that result in a portion of the interest being deferred and added to the principal outstanding. As a result, we may receive less cash income on Agency RMBS backed by ARMs and hybrid ARMs than necessary to pay interest on our related borrowings. Interest rate caps on Agency RMBS backed by ARMs and hybrid ARMs could reduce our net interest margin if interest rates were to increase beyond the level of the caps, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

We rely on analytical models and other data to analyze potential asset acquisition and disposition opportunities and to manage our portfolio. Such models and other data may be incorrect, misleading or incomplete, which could cause us to purchase assets that do not meet our expectations or to make asset management decisions that are not in line with our strategy.

We rely on analytical models, and information and other data supplied by third parties. These models and data may be used to value assets or potential asset acquisitions and dispositions and in connection with our asset management activities. If our models and data prove to be incorrect, misleading or incomplete, any decisions made in reliance thereon could expose us to potential risks.

Our reliance on models and data may induce us to purchase certain assets at prices that are too high, to sell certain other assets at prices that are too low or to miss favorable opportunities altogether. Similarly, any hedging activities that are based on faulty models and data may prove to be unsuccessful.

Some models, such as prepayment models, may be predictive in nature. The use of predictive models has inherent risks. For example, such models may incorrectly forecast future behavior, leading to potential losses. In addition, the predictive models used by us may differ substantially from those models used by other market

 

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participants, resulting in valuations based on these predictive models that may be substantially higher or lower for certain assets than actual market prices. Furthermore, because predictive models are usually constructed based on historical data supplied by third parties, the success of relying on such models may depend heavily on the accuracy and reliability of the supplied historical data, and, in the case of predicting performance in scenarios with little or no historical precedent (such as extreme broad-based declines in home prices, or deep economic recessions or depressions), such models must employ greater degrees of extrapolation and are therefore more speculative and less reliable.

All valuation models rely on correct market data input. If incorrect market data is entered into even a well-founded valuation model, the resulting valuations will be incorrect. However, even if market data is inputted correctly, “model prices” will often differ substantially from market prices, especially for securities with complex characteristics or whose values are particularly sensitive to various factors. If our market data inputs are incorrect or our model prices differ substantially from market prices, our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to make distributions to our stockholders could be materially adversely affected.

Valuations of some of our assets are inherently uncertain, may be based on estimates, may fluctuate over short periods of time and may differ from the values that would have been used if a ready market for these assets existed. As a result, the values of some of our assets are uncertain.

While in many cases our determination of the fair value of our assets is based on valuations provided by third-party dealers and pricing services, we can and do value assets based upon our judgment, and such valuations may differ from those provided by third-party dealers and pricing services. Valuations of certain assets are often difficult to obtain or are unreliable. In general, dealers and pricing services heavily disclaim their valuations. Additionally, dealers may claim to furnish valuations only as an accommodation and without special compensation, and so they may disclaim any and all liability for any direct, incidental or consequential damages arising out of any inaccuracy or incompleteness in valuations, including any act of negligence or breach of any warranty. Depending on the complexity and illiquidity of an asset, valuations of the same asset can vary substantially from one dealer or pricing service to another. The valuation process has been particularly difficult recently because market events have made valuations of certain assets more difficult and unpredictable and the disparity of valuations provided by third-party dealers has widened.

Our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to make distributions to our stockholders could be materially adversely affected if our fair value determinations of these assets were materially higher than the values that would exist if a ready market existed for these assets.

An increase in interest rates may cause a decrease in the volume of newly issued, or investor demand for, Agency RMBS, which could materially adversely affect our ability to acquire assets that satisfy our investment objectives and our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

Rising interest rates generally reduce the demand for consumer credit, including mortgage loans, due to the higher cost of borrowing. A reduction in the volume of mortgage loans may affect the volume of Agency RMBS available to us, which could affect our ability to acquire assets that satisfy our investment objectives. Rising interest rates may also cause Agency RMBS that were issued prior to an interest rate increase to provide yields that exceed prevailing market interest rates. If rising interest rates cause us to be unable to acquire a sufficient volume of Agency RMBS or Agency RMBS with a yield that exceeds our borrowing costs, our ability to satisfy our investment objectives and to generate income and pay dividends, our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders may be materially adversely affected.

 

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Because the assets that we acquire might experience periods of illiquidity, we might be prevented from selling our Agency RMBS at favorable times and prices, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

Agency RMBS might experience periods of illiquidity. Such conditions are more likely to occur for structured Agency RMBS because such securities are generally traded in markets much less liquid than the pass-through Agency RMBS market. As a result, we may be unable to dispose of our Agency RMBS at advantageous times and prices or in a timely manner. The lack of liquidity might result from the absence of a willing buyer or an established market for these assets as well as legal or contractual restrictions on resale. The illiquidity of Agency RMBS could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

Our use of leverage could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

We calculate our leverage ratio by dividing our total liabilities by total equity at the end of each period. Under normal market conditions, we generally expect our leverage ratio to be less than 12 to 1, although at times our borrowings may be above or below this level. We incur this indebtedness by borrowing against a substantial portion of the market value of our pass-through Agency RMBS and a portion of our structured Agency RMBS. Our total indebtedness, however, is not expressly limited by our policies and will depend on our prospective lenders’ estimates of the stability of our portfolio’s cash flow. As a result, there is no limit on the amount of leverage that we may incur. We face the risk that we might not be able to meet our debt service obligations or a lender’s margin requirements from our income and, to the extent we cannot, we might be forced to liquidate some of our Agency RMBS at unfavorable prices. Our use of leverage could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operation and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders. For example:

 

    our borrowings are secured by our pass-through Agency RMBS and a portion of our structured Agency RMBS under repurchase agreements. A decline in the market value of the pass-through Agency RMBS or structured Agency RMBS used to secure these debt obligations could limit our ability to borrow or result in lenders requiring us to pledge additional collateral to secure our borrowings. In that situation, we could be required to sell Agency RMBS under adverse market conditions in order to obtain the additional collateral required by the lender. If these sales are made at prices lower than the carrying value of the Agency RMBS, we would experience losses.

 

    to the extent we are compelled to liquidate qualifying real estate assets to repay debts, our compliance with the REIT rules regarding our assets and our sources of gross income could be negatively affected, which could jeopardize our qualification as a REIT. Losing our REIT qualification would cause us to be subject to U.S. federal income tax (and any applicable state and local taxes) on all of our income and would decrease profitability and cash available for distributions to stockholders.

If we experience losses as a result of our use of leverage, such losses could materially adversely affect our business, results of operations and financial condition and our ability to make distributions to our stockholders.

We may incur increased borrowing costs, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

Our borrowing costs under repurchase agreements are generally adjustable and correspond to short-term interest rates, such as the London Interbank Offered Rate, or LIBOR, or a short-term U.S. Treasury index, plus or minus a margin. The margins on these borrowings over or under short-term interest rates may vary depending upon a number of factors, including, without limitation:

 

    the movement of interest rates;

 

    the availability of financing in the market; and

 

    the value and liquidity of our Agency RMBS.

 

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All of our current short-term borrowings are collateralized borrowings in the form of repurchase agreements. If the interest rates on these repurchase agreements increase, our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders could be materially adversely affected.

Failure to procure adequate repurchase agreement financing, or to renew or replace existing repurchase agreement financing as it matures, could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to make distributions to our stockholders.

We intend to maintain master repurchase agreements with several counterparties. We cannot assure you that any, or sufficient, repurchase agreement financing will be available to us in the future on terms that are acceptable to us. Any decline in the value of Agency RMBS, or perceived market uncertainty about their value, would make it more difficult for us to obtain financing on favorable terms or at all, or maintain our compliance with the terms of any financing arrangements already in place. Additionally, our lenders may have owned or financed RMBS that have declined in value and caused the lender to suffer losses as a result of the recent downturn in the residential mortgage market. If these conditions persist, these institutions may be forced to exit the repurchase market, become insolvent or further tighten lending standards or increase the amount of equity capital, or haircuts, required to obtain financing, and in such event, could make it more difficult for us to obtain financing on favorable terms or at all. Additionally, we may be unable to diversify the credit risk associated with our lenders. In the event that we cannot obtain sufficient funding on acceptable terms, our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders may be materially adversely effected.

Furthermore, because we intend to rely primarily on short-term borrowings to fund our acquisition of Agency RMBS, our ability to achieve our investment objective will depend not only on our ability to borrow money in sufficient amounts and on favorable terms, but also on our ability to renew or replace on a continuous basis our maturing short-term borrowings. If we are not able to renew or replace maturing borrowings, we will have to sell some or all of our assets, possibly under adverse market conditions. In addition, if the regulatory capital requirements imposed on our lenders change, they may be required to significantly increase the cost of the financing that they provide to us. Our lenders also may revise their eligibility requirements for the types of assets they are willing to finance or the terms of such financings, based on, among other factors, the regulatory environment and their management of perceived risk.

Adverse market developments could cause our lenders to require us to pledge additional assets as collateral. If our assets were insufficient to meet these collateral requirements, we might be compelled to liquidate particular assets at inopportune times and at unfavorable prices, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

Adverse market developments, including a sharp or prolonged rise in interest rates, a change in prepayment rates or increasing market concern about the value or liquidity of one or more types of Agency RMBS, might reduce the market value of our portfolio, which might cause our lenders to initiate margin calls. A margin call means that the lender requires us to pledge additional collateral to re-establish the ratio of the value of the collateral to the amount of the borrowing. The specific collateral value to borrowing ratio that would trigger a margin call is not set in the master repurchase agreements and not determined until we engage in a repurchase transaction under these agreements. Our fixed-rate Agency RMBS generally are more susceptible to margin calls as increases in interest rates tend to more negatively affect the market value of fixed-rate securities. If we are unable to satisfy margin calls, our lenders may foreclose on our collateral. The threat or occurrence of a margin call could force us to sell either directly or through a foreclosure our Agency RMBS under adverse market conditions. Because of the significant leverage we expect to have, we may incur substantial losses upon the threat or occurrence of a margin call, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders. Additionally, the liquidation of

 

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collateral may jeopardize our ability to qualify or maintain our qualification as a REIT, as we must comply with requirements regarding our assets and our sources of gross income. If we are compelled to liquidate our Agency RMBS, we may be unable to comply with these requirements, ultimately jeopardizing our ability to qualify or maintain our qualification as a REIT. Our failure to qualify as a REIT or maintain our qualification would cause us to be subject to U.S. federal income tax (and any applicable state and local taxes) on all of our net taxable income.

Our use of repurchase agreements may give our lenders greater rights in the event that either we or any of our lenders file for bankruptcy, which may make it difficult for us to recover our collateral in the event of a bankruptcy filing.

Our borrowings under repurchase agreements may qualify for special treatment under the bankruptcy code, giving our lenders the ability to avoid the automatic stay provisions of the bankruptcy code and to take possession of and liquidate our collateral under the repurchase agreements without delay if we file for bankruptcy. Furthermore, the special treatment of repurchase agreements under the bankruptcy code may make it difficult for us to recover our pledged assets in the event that any of our lenders files for bankruptcy. Thus, the use of repurchase agreements exposes our pledged assets to risk in the event of a bankruptcy filing by either our lenders or us. In addition, if the lender is a broker or dealer subject to the Securities Investor Protection Act of 1970, or an insured depository institution subject to the Federal Deposit Insurance Act, our ability to exercise our rights to recover our investment under a repurchase agreement or to be compensated for any damages resulting from the lender’s insolvency may be further limited by those statutes.

If we fail to maintain our relationship with AVM, L.P. or if we do not establish relationships with other repurchase agreement trading, clearing and administrative service providers, our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders could be materially adversely affected.

We have engaged AVM, L.P. to provide us with certain repurchase agreement trading, clearing and administrative services. If we are unable to maintain our relationship with AVM, L.P. or we are unable to establish successful relationships with other repurchase agreement trading, clearing and administrative service providers, our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders could be materially adversely affected.

If our lenders default on their obligations to resell the Agency RMBS back to us at the end of the repurchase transaction term, or if the value of the Agency RMBS has declined by the end of the repurchase transaction term or if we default on our obligations under the repurchase transaction, we will lose money on these transactions, which, in turn, may materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

When we engage in a repurchase transaction, we initially sell securities to the financial institution under one of our master repurchase agreements in exchange for cash, and our counterparty is obligated to resell the securities to us at the end of the term of the transaction, which is typically from 24 to 90 days but may be up to 364 days or more. The cash we receive when we initially sell the securities is less than the value of those securities, which is referred to as the haircut. Many financial institutions from which we may obtain repurchase agreement financing have increased their haircuts in the past and may do so again in the future. If these haircuts are increased, we will be required to post additional cash or securities as collateral for our Agency RMBS. If our counterparty defaults on its obligation to resell the securities to us, we would incur a loss on the transaction equal to the amount of the haircut (assuming there was no change in the value of the securities). We would also lose money on a repurchase transaction if the value of the underlying securities had declined as of the end of the transaction term, as we would have to repurchase the securities for their initial value but would receive securities worth less than that amount. Any losses we incur on our repurchase transactions could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

 

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If we default on one of our obligations under a repurchase transaction, the counterparty can terminate the transaction and cease entering into any other repurchase transactions with us. In that case, we would likely need to establish a replacement repurchase facility with another financial institution in order to continue to leverage our portfolio and carry out our investment strategy. There is no assurance we would be able to establish a suitable replacement facility on acceptable terms or at all.

Hedging against interest rate exposure may not completely insulate us from interest rate risk and could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

To the extent consistent with qualifying and maintaining our qualification as a REIT, we may enter into interest rate cap or swap agreements or pursue other hedging strategies, including the purchase of puts, calls or other options and futures contracts in order to hedge the interest rate risk of our portfolio. In general, our hedging strategy depends on our view of our entire portfolio consisting of assets, liabilities and derivative instruments, in light of prevailing market conditions. We could misjudge the condition of our investment portfolio or the market. Our hedging activity will vary in scope based on the level and volatility of interest rates and principal prepayments, the type of Agency RMBS we hold and other changing market conditions. Hedging may fail to protect or could adversely affect us because, among other things:

 

    hedging can be expensive, particularly during periods of rising and volatile interest rates;

 

    available interest rate hedging may not correspond directly with the interest rate risk for which protection is sought;

 

    the duration of the hedge may not match the duration of the related liability;

 

    certain types of hedges may expose us to risk of loss beyond the fee paid to initiate the hedge;

 

    the amount of gross income that a REIT may earn from certain hedging transactions is limited by federal income tax provisions governing REITs;

 

    the credit quality of the counterparty on the hedge may be downgraded to such an extent that it impairs our ability to sell or assign our side of the hedging transaction; and

 

    the counterparty in the hedging transaction may default on its obligation to pay.

There are no perfect hedging strategies, and interest rate hedging may fail to protect us from loss. Alternatively, we may fail to properly assess a risk to our investment portfolio or may fail to recognize a risk entirely, leaving us exposed to losses without the benefit of any offsetting hedging activities. The derivative financial instruments we select may not have the effect of reducing our interest rate risk. The nature and timing of hedging transactions may influence the effectiveness of these strategies. Poorly designed strategies or improperly executed transactions could actually increase our risk and losses. In addition, hedging activities could result in losses if the event against which we hedge does not occur.

Because of the foregoing risks, our hedging activity could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

Our use of certain hedging techniques may expose us to counterparty risks.

If an interest rate swap counterparty cannot perform under the terms of the interest rate swap, we may not receive payments due under that swap, and thus, we may lose any unrealized gain associated with the interest rate swap. The hedged liability could cease to be hedged by the interest rate swap. Additionally, we may also risk the loss of any collateral we have pledged to secure our obligations under the interest rate swap if the counterparty becomes insolvent or files for bankruptcy. Similarly, if an interest rate cap counterparty fails to perform under the terms of the interest rate cap agreement, we may not receive payments due under that agreement that would off-set our interest expense and then could incur a loss for the then remaining fair market value of the interest rate cap.

 

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Clearing facilities or exchanges upon which some of our hedging instruments are traded may increase margin requirements on our hedging instruments in the event of adverse economic developments.

In response to events having or expected to have adverse economic consequences or which create market uncertainty, clearing facilities or exchanges upon which some of our hedging instruments, such as Eurodollar futures contracts, are traded may require us to post additional collateral against our hedging instruments. In response to the U.S. approaching its debt ceiling without resolution and the government shutdown, the Chicago Mercantile Exchange announced on October 15, 2013 that it would increase margin requirements by 12% for all over-the-counter interest rate swap portfolios that its clearinghouse guaranteed. This increase was subsequently rolled back on October 17, 2013 upon the news that Congress passed legislation to temporarily suspend the debt ceiling and reopen the government, which allowed time for broader negotiations concerning budgetary issues. In the event that future adverse economic developments or market uncertainty result in increased margin requirements for our hedging instruments, it could materially adversely affect our liquidity position, business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our ability to achieve our investment objectives will depend on our ability to manage future growth effectively.

Our ability to achieve our investment objectives will depend on our ability to grow, which will depend, in turn, on our Manager’s ability to identify and invest in securities that meet our investment criteria. Accomplishing this result on a cost-effective basis largely will be a function of our Manager’s structuring and implementation of the investment process, its ability to provide competent, attentive and efficient services to us and our access to financing on acceptable terms. Our Manager has substantial responsibilities, and, in order to grow, needs to hire, train, supervise and manage new employees successfully. Any failure to manage our future growth effectively could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

We may change our investment strategy, investment guidelines and asset allocation without notice or stockholder consent, which may result in riskier investments. In addition, our charter provides that our Board of Directors may revoke or otherwise terminate our REIT election, without the approval of our stockholders.

Our Board of Directors has the authority to change our investment strategy or asset allocation at any time without notice to or consent from our stockholders. To the extent that our investment strategy changes in the future, we may make investments that are different from, and possibly riskier than, the investments described in this annual report. A change in our investment strategy may increase our exposure to interest rate and real estate market fluctuations. Furthermore, a change in our asset allocation could result in our allocating assets in a different manner than as described in this annual report.

In addition, our charter provides that our Board of Directors may revoke or otherwise terminate our REIT election, without the approval of our stockholders, if it determines that it is no longer in our best interests to qualify as a REIT. These changes could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition, results of operations, the market value of our common stock and our ability to make distributions to our stockholders.

Competition might prevent us from acquiring Agency RMBS at favorable yields, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

We operate in a highly competitive market for investment opportunities. Our net income largely depends on our ability to acquire Agency RMBS at favorable spreads over our borrowing costs. In acquiring Agency RMBS, we compete with a variety of institutional investors, including other REITs, investment banking firms, savings and loan associations, banks, insurance companies, mutual funds, other lenders, other entities that purchase Agency RMBS, the Federal Reserve, other governmental entities and government-sponsored entities, many of which have

 

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greater financial, technical, marketing and other resources than we do. Several other REITs have recently raised, or are expected to raise, significant amounts of capital, and may have investment objectives that overlap with ours, which may create additional competition for investment opportunities. Some competitors may have a lower cost of funds and access to funding sources that may not be available to us, such as funding from the U.S. Government. Additionally, many of our competitors are not subject to REIT tax compliance or required to maintain an exemption from the Investment Company Act. In addition, some of our competitors may have higher risk tolerances or different risk assessments, which could allow them to consider a wider variety of investments. Furthermore, competition for investments in Agency RMBS may lead the price of such investments to increase, which may further limit our ability to generate desired returns. As a result, we may not be able to acquire sufficient Agency RMBS at favorable spreads over our borrowing costs, which would materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

Actions of the U.S. Government for the purpose of stabilizing the financial markets may adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

The U.S. Government, through the Federal Reserve, the U.S. Treasury, the SEC, the Federal Housing Administration, or the FHA, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or the FDIC, and other governmental and regulatory bodies has taken or is considering taking various actions to address the recent financial crisis. For example, on July 21, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, or the Dodd-Frank Act. Many aspects of the Dodd-Frank Act are subject to rulemaking and will take effect over several years, making it difficult to anticipate the overall financial impact on us and, more generally, the financial services and mortgage industries. Additionally, we cannot predict whether there will be additional proposed laws or reforms that would affect us, whether or when such changes may be adopted, how such changes may be interpreted and enforced or how such changes may affect us. However, the costs of complying with any additional laws or regulations could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

In addition to the foregoing, the U.S. Congress and/or various state and local legislatures may enact additional legislation or regulatory action designed to address the current economic crisis or for other purposes that could have a material adverse effect on our ability to execute our business strategies. To the extent the market does not respond favorably to these initiatives or they do not function as intended, our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders could be materially adversely affected.

We are an “emerging growth company,” and we cannot be certain if the reduced disclosure requirements applicable to emerging growth companies will make our common stock less attractive to investors.

We are an “emerging growth company,” as defined in the Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012, or the JOBS Act, and as such, we are not required to comply with the auditor attestation requirements of Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, or the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, we have reduced disclosure obligations regarding executive compensation in our periodic reports and proxy statements, and we are exempt from the requirements of holding a nonbinding advisory vote on executive compensation and stockholder approval of any golden parachute payments not previously approved. Although we are an emerging growth company under the JOBS Act, we have elected to opt out of the extended transition period for complying with new or revised accounting standards, and such election is irrevocable. We cannot predict if investors will find our shares of common stock less attractive because we may rely on these provisions. If some investors find our shares of common stock less attractive as a result, there may be a less active trading market for our shares and our share price may be more volatile.

Our obligation to comply with the requirements of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act will increase.

As long as we remain an emerging growth company, as that term is defined in the JOBS Act, we will be permitted to gradually comply with certain of the on-going reporting and disclosure obligations of public

 

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companies pursuant to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. We cannot be certain if the reduced disclosure requirements applicable to emerging growth companies will make our ordinary shares less attractive to investors.

Management is required to deliver a report that assesses the effectiveness of our internal controls over financial reporting pursuant to Section 302 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act may require our auditors to deliver an attestation report on the effectiveness of our internal controls over financial reporting in conjunction with their opinion on our audited financial statements in future years. Substantial work on our part is required to implement appropriate processes, document the system of internal control over key processes, assess their design, remediate any deficiencies identified and test their operation. This process is expected to be both costly and challenging. We cannot give any assurances that material weaknesses will not be identified in the future in connection with our compliance with the provisions of Section 302 and 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The existence of any material weakness described above would preclude a conclusion by management and our independent auditors that we maintained effective internal control over financial reporting. Our management may be required to devote significant time and expense to remediate any material weaknesses that may be discovered and may not be able to remediate any material weakness in a timely manner. The existence of any material weakness in our internal control over financial reporting could also result in errors in our financial statements that could require us to restate our financial statements, cause us to fail to meet our reporting obligations and cause investors to lose confidence in our reported financial information, all of which could lead to a decline in the trading price of our common stock.

Terrorist attacks and other acts of violence or war may materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

We cannot assure you that there will not be further terrorist attacks against the United States or U.S. businesses. These attacks or armed conflicts may directly impact the property underlying our Agency RMBS or the securities markets in general. Losses resulting from these types of events are uninsurable. More generally, any of these events could cause consumer confidence and spending to decrease or result in increased volatility in the United States and worldwide financial markets and economies. They also could result in economic uncertainty in the United States or abroad. Adverse economic conditions could harm the value of the property underlying our Agency RMBS or the securities markets in general, which could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

We are highly dependent on communications and information systems operated by third parties, and systems failures could significantly disrupt our business, which may, in turn, adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

Our business is highly dependent on communications and information systems that allow us to monitor, value, buy, sell, finance and hedge our investments. These systems are operated by third parties and, as a result, we have limited ability to ensure their continued operation. In the event of a systems failure or interruption, we will have limited ability to affect the timing and success of systems restoration. Any failure or interruption of our systems could cause delays or other problems in our securities trading activities, including Agency RMBS trading activities, which could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

If we issue debt securities, our operations may be restricted and we will be exposed to additional risk.

If we decide to issue debt securities in the future, it is likely that such securities will be governed by an indenture or other instrument containing covenants restricting our operating flexibility. Additionally, any convertible or exchangeable securities that we issue in the future may have rights, preferences and privileges more favorable than those of our common stock. We, and indirectly our stockholders, will bear the cost of issuing and servicing such securities. Holders of debt securities may be granted specific rights, including but not limited to, the right to hold a perfected security interest in certain of our assets, the right to accelerate payments

 

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due under the indenture, rights to restrict dividend payments, and rights to approve the sale of assets. Such additional restrictive covenants and operating restrictions could have a material adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

Adoption of the Basel III standards and other proposed supplementary regulatory standards may negatively impact our access to financing or affect the terms of our future financing arrangements.

In response to various financial crises and the volatility of financial markets, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision adopted the Basel III standards several years ago. The final package of Basel III reforms was approved by the G20 leaders in November 2010. In January 2013, the Basel Committee agreed to delay implementation of the Basel III standards and expanded the scope of assets permitted to be included in a bank’s liquidity measurement.

U.S. regulators have elected to implement substantially all of the Basel III standards. Financial institutions will have until 2019 to fully comply with the Basel III standards, which could cause an increase in capital requirements for, and could place constraints on, the financial institutions from which we borrow.

Shortly after approving the Basel III standards, U.S. regulators also issued a notice of proposed rule-making calling for enhanced supplementary leverage ratio standards, which would impose capital requirements more stringent than those of the Basel III standards for the most systematically significant banking organizations in the U.S. The enhanced standards are currently subject to public comment, and there can be no assurance that they will be adopted or, if adopted, that they will resemble the current proposal. Adoption and implementation of the Basel III standards and the supplemental regulatory standards proposed by U.S. regulators may negatively impact our access to financing or affect the terms of our future financing arrangements.

Risks Related to Conflicts of Interest in Our Relationship with Our Manager and Bimini

The management agreement with our Manager was not negotiated on an arm’s-length basis and the terms, including fees payable and our inability to terminate, or our election not to renew, the management agreement based on our Manager’s poor performance without paying our Manager a significant termination fee, except for a termination of the Manager with cause, may not be as favorable to us as if it were negotiated with an unaffiliated third party.

The management agreement with our Manager was negotiated between related parties, and we did not have the benefit of arm’s-length negotiations of the type normally conducted with an unaffiliated third party. The terms of the management agreement with our Manager, including fees payable and our inability to terminate, or our election not to renew, the management agreement based on our Manager’s poor performance without paying our Manager a significant termination fee, except for a termination of the Manager with cause, may not reflect the terms we may have received if it was negotiated with an unrelated third party. In addition, as a result of the relationship with our Manager, we may choose not to enforce, or to enforce less vigorously, our rights under the management agreement because of our desire to maintain our ongoing relationship with our Manager.

We have no employees, and our Manager is responsible for making all of our investment decisions. None of our or our Manager’s officers are required to devote any specific amount of time to our business, and each of them may provide their services to Bimini, which could result in conflicts of interest.

Our Manager is responsible for making all of our investments. We do not have any employees, and we are completely reliant on our Manager to provide us with investment advisory services. Each of our and our Manager’s officers is an employee of Bimini and none of them will devote their time to us exclusively. Each of Messrs. Cauley and Haas, who will be the initial members of our Manager’s investment committee, is an officer of Bimini and has significant responsibilities to Bimini. Due to the fact that each of our officers is responsible for providing services to Bimini, they may not devote sufficient time to the management of our business operations. At times when there are turbulent conditions in the mortgage markets or distress in the credit markets or other

 

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times when we will need focused support and assistance from our executive officers and our Manager, Bimini and its affiliates will likewise require greater focus and attention from them. In such situations, we may not receive the level of support and assistance that we otherwise would likely have received if we were internally managed or if such executives were not otherwise committed to provide support to Bimini.

Our Board of Directors has adopted investment guidelines that require that any investment transaction between us and Bimini or any affiliate of Bimini receive the prior approval of a majority of our independent directors. However, this policy will not eliminate the conflicts of interest that our officers will face in making investment decisions on behalf of Bimini and us. Further, we do not have any agreement or understanding with Bimini that would give us any priority over Bimini or any of its affiliates. Accordingly, we may compete for access to the benefits that we expect our relationship with our Manager and Bimini to provide.

We are completely dependent upon our Manager and certain key personnel of Bimini who provide services to us through the management agreement, and we may not find suitable replacements for our Manager and these personnel if the management agreement is terminated or such key personnel are no longer available to us.

We are completely dependent on our Manager to conduct our operations pursuant to the management agreement. Because we do not have any employees or separate facilities, we are reliant on our Manager to provide us with the personnel, services and resources necessary to carry out our day-to-day operations. Our management agreement does not require our Manager to dedicate specific personnel to our operations or a specific amount of time to our business. Additionally, because we are affiliated with Bimini, we may be negatively impacted by an event or factors, including ongoing and potential legal proceedings against Bimini and its subsidiaries, that negatively impacts or could negatively impact Bimini’s business or financial condition.

After the initial term of the management agreement, which expires on February 20, 2016, or upon the expiration of any automatic renewal term, our Manager may elect not to renew the management agreement without cause, and without penalty, on 180-days’ prior written notice to us. If we elect not to renew the management agreement without cause, we would have to pay a termination fee equal to three times the average annual management fee earned by our Manager during the prior 24-month period immediately preceding the most recently completed calendar quarter prior to the effective date of termination. During the term of the management agreement and for two years after its expiration or termination, we may not, without the consent of our Manager, employ any employee of the Manager or any of its affiliates or any person who has been employed by our Manager or any of its affiliates at any time within the two-year period immediately preceding the date on which the person commences employment with us. We do not have retention agreements with any of our officers. We believe that the successful implementation of our investment and financing strategies depends to a significant extent upon the experience of Bimini’s executive officers. None of these individuals’ continued service is guaranteed. If the management agreement is terminated or these individuals leave Bimini, we may be unable to execute our business plan.

Legal proceedings involving Bimini and certain of its subsidiaries have adversely affected Bimini, may materially adversely affect Bimini’s and our Manager’s ability to effectively manage our business and could materially adversely affect our reputation, business, operations, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

Bimini and its subsidiaries are currently subject to certain ongoing legal proceedings and could be subject to further legal proceedings in the future. Most of these legal proceedings arise out of the mortgage-related operations of Bimini’s mortgage origination subsidiary that discontinued operations in 2007. In the past, Bimini and certain of its subsidiaries have been subject to similar actions, including proceedings alleging violations of the federal securities laws and for breach of duty arising from the sale of certain mortgage-related securities, which have now been satisfactorily resolved. Bimini and its subsidiaries could be subject to similar actions in the future.

 

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We are externally managed and advised by our Manager pursuant to the terms of a Management Agreement. Because our officers are also officers of Bimini and our Manager, any legal proceedings or regulatory inquiries involving Bimini or our Manager, whether meritorious or not, may divert the time and attention of our Manager and certain of its key personnel from us and our investment strategy and may negatively affect Bimini’s business, operations and financial condition. In addition, due to our relationship with Bimini and our Manager, such events could result in a material adverse effect on our reputation, business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders. Furthermore, if these legal proceedings were to result in a bankruptcy of Bimini or our Manager, we would not be able to terminate the Management Agreement until 30 days after we provide written notice of termination to our Manager and could experience difficulty in finding another manager or hiring personnel to conduct our business. Alternatively, a bankruptcy court could prevent us from exercising such termination rights, regardless of the provisions of the management agreement.

We, Bimini and other accounts managed by our Manager may compete for opportunities to acquire assets, which are allocated in accordance with the Investment Allocation Agreement by and among Bimini, our Manager and us.

From time to time Bimini may seek to purchase for itself the same or similar assets that our Manager seeks to purchase for us, or our Manager may seek to purchase the same or similar assets for us as it does for other accounts that may be managed by our Manager in the future. In such an instance, our Manager has no duty to allocate such opportunities in a manner that preferentially favors us. Bimini and our Manager make available to us opportunities to acquire assets that they determine, in their reasonable and good faith judgment, based on our objectives, policies and strategies, and other relevant factors, are appropriate for us in accordance with the Investment Allocation Agreement.

Because many of our targeted assets are typically available only in specified quantities and because many of our targeted assets are also targeted assets for Bimini and may be targeted assets for other accounts our Manager may manage in the future, neither Bimini nor our Manager may be able to buy as much of any given asset as required to satisfy the needs of Bimini, us and any other account our Manager may manage in the future. In these cases, the Investment Allocation Agreement will require the allocation of such assets to multiple accounts in proportion to their needs and available capital. The Investment Allocation Agreement will permit departure from such proportional allocation when (i) allocating purchases of whole-pool Agency RMBS, because those securities cannot be divided into multiple parts to be allocated among various accounts, and (ii) such allocation would result in an inefficiently small amount of the security being purchased for an account. In that case, the Investment Allocation Agreement allows for a protocol of allocating assets so that, on an overall basis, each account is treated equitably.

There are conflicts of interest in our relationships with our Manager and Bimini, which could result in decisions that are not in the best interests of our stockholders.

We are subject to conflicts of interest arising out of our relationships with Bimini and our Manager. All of our executive officers are employees of Bimini. As a result, our officers may have conflicts between their duties to us and their duties to Bimini or our Manager.

We may acquire or sell assets in which Bimini or its affiliates have or may have an interest. Similarly, Bimini or its affiliates may acquire or sell assets in which we have or may have an interest. Although such acquisitions or dispositions may present conflicts of interest, we nonetheless may pursue and consummate such transactions. Additionally, we may engage in transactions directly with Bimini or its affiliates, including the purchase and sale of all or a portion of a portfolio asset.

Acquisitions made for entities with similar objectives may be different from those made on our behalf. Bimini may have economic interests in or other relationships with others whose obligations or securities we may acquire. In particular, such persons may make and/or hold an investment in securities that we acquire that may be

 

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pari passu, senior or junior in ranking to our interest in the securities or in which partners, security holders, officers, directors, agents or employees of such persons serve on the board of directors or otherwise have ongoing relationships. Each of such ownership and other relationships may result in securities laws restrictions on transactions in such securities and otherwise create conflicts of interest. In such instances, our Manager may, in its sole discretion, make recommendations and decisions regarding such securities for other entities that may be the same as or different from those made for us with respect to such securities and may take actions (or omit to take actions) in the context of these other economic interests or relationships that may have consequences adverse to our interests.

The officers of Bimini and our Manager devote as much time to us as our Manager deems appropriate. However, these officers may have conflicts in allocating their time and services among us, Bimini and our Manager. During turbulent conditions in the mortgage industry, distress in the credit markets or other times when we will need focused support and assistance from our Manager’s officers and Bimini’s employees, Bimini and other entities for which our Manager may serve as a manager in the future will likewise require greater focus and attention, placing our Manager’s and Bimini’s resources in high demand. In such situations, we may not receive the necessary support and assistance we require or would otherwise receive if we were internally managed.

We, directly or through Bimini or our Manager, may obtain confidential information about the companies or securities in which we have invested or may invest. If we possess confidential information about such companies or securities, there may be restrictions on our ability to dispose of, increase the amount of, or otherwise take action with respect to the securities of such companies. Our Manager’s management of other accounts could create a conflict of interest to the extent our Manager or Bimini is aware of material non-public information concerning potential investment decisions. We have implemented compliance procedures and practices designed to ensure that investment decisions are not made while in possession of material non-public information. We cannot assure you, however, that these procedures and practices will be effective. In addition, this conflict and these procedures and practices may limit the freedom of our Manager to make potentially profitable investments, which could have an adverse effect on our operations. These limitations imposed by access to confidential information could therefore materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to make distributions to our stockholders.

John B. Van Heuvelen, one of our independent directors, owns shares of common stock of Bimini. Mr. Cauley, our Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of our Board of Directors, also serves as Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Bimini and owns shares of common stock of Bimini. Mr. Haas, our Chief Financial Officer, Chief Investment Officer, Secretary and a member of our Board of Directors, also serves as the Chief Financial Officer, Chief Investment Officer and Treasurer of Bimini and owns shares of common stock of Bimini. Accordingly, Messrs. Van Heuvelen, Cauley and Haas may have a conflict of interest with respect to actions by our Board of Directors that relate to Bimini or our Manager.

As of February 21, 2014, Bimini owns approximately 18.1% of our outstanding shares of common stock. In evaluating opportunities for us and other management strategies, this may lead our Manager to emphasize certain asset acquisition, disposition or management objectives over others, such as balancing risk or capital preservation objectives against return objectives. This could increase the risks or decrease the returns of your investment.

If we elect to not renew the management agreement without cause, we would be required to pay our Manager a substantial termination fee. These and other provisions in our management agreement make non-renewal of our management agreement difficult and costly.

Electing not to renew the management agreement without cause would be difficult and costly for us. With the consent of the majority of our independent directors, we may elect not to renew our management agreement after the initial term of the management agreement, which expires on February 20, 2016, or upon the expiration of any automatic renewal term, both upon 180-days’ prior written notice. If we elect to not renew the agreement because of a decision by our Board of Directors that the management fee is unfair, our Manager has the right to

 

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renegotiate a mutually agreeable management fee. If we elect to not renew the management agreement without cause, we are required to pay our Manager a termination fee equal to three times the average annual management fee earned by our Manager during the prior 24-month period immediately preceding the most recently completed calendar quarter prior to the effective date of termination. These provisions may increase the effective cost to us of electing to not renew the management agreement, thereby adversely affecting our inclination to end our relationship with our Manager even if we believe our Manager’s performance is unsatisfactory.

Our Manager’s management fee is payable regardless of our performance.

Our Manager is entitled to receive a management fee from us that is based on the amount of our equity (as defined in the management agreement), regardless of the performance of our investment portfolio. For example, we would pay our Manager a management fee for a specific period even if we experienced a net loss during the same period. Our Manager’s entitlement to substantial nonperformance-based compensation may reduce its incentive to devote sufficient time and effort to seeking investments that provide attractive risk-adjusted returns for our investment portfolio. This in turn could materially adversely affect our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to make distributions to our stockholders.

Our Manager will not be liable to us for any acts or omissions performed in accordance with the management agreement, including with respect to the performance of our investments.

Our Manager has not assumed any responsibility other than to render the services called for under the management agreement in good faith and is not responsible for any action of our Board of Directors in following or declining to follow its advice or recommendations, including as set forth in the investment guidelines. Our Manager and its affiliates, and the directors, officers, employees, members and stockholders of our Manager and its affiliates, will not be liable to us, our Board of Directors or our stockholders for any acts or omissions performed in accordance with and pursuant to the management agreement, except by reason of acts constituting bad faith, willful misconduct, gross negligence or reckless disregard of their respective duties under the management agreement. We have agreed to indemnify our Manager and its affiliates, and the directors, officers, employees, members and stockholders of our Manager and its affiliates, with respect to all expenses, losses, damages, liabilities, demands, charges and claims in respect of or arising from any acts or omissions of our Manager, its affiliates, and the directors, officers, employees, members and stockholders of our Manager and its affiliates, performed in good faith under the management agreement and not constituting bad faith, willful misconduct, gross negligence, or reckless disregard of their respective duties. Therefore, our stockholders have no recourse against our Manager with respect to the performance of investments made in accordance with the management agreement.

Risks Related to Our Common Stock

Investing in our common stock may involve a high degree of risk.

The investments we make in accordance with our investment objectives may result in a high amount of risk when compared to alternative investment options and volatility or loss of principal. Our investments may be highly speculative and aggressive, and therefore an investment in our common stock may not be suitable for someone with lower risk tolerance.

There may not be an active market for our common stock, which may cause our common stock to trade at a discount and make it difficult to sell the common stock you purchase.

Our common stock is listed on the NYSE MKT under the symbol “ORC.” Trading on the NYSE MKT does not ensure that there is or will be an actual market for our common stock. Accordingly, no assurance can be given as to:

 

    the likelihood that an actual market for our common stock will develop, or be continued once developed;

 

    the liquidity of any such market;

 

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    the ability of any holder to sell shares of our common stock; or

 

    the prices that may be obtained for our common stock.

We have not established a minimum distribution payment level, and we cannot assure you of our ability to make distributions to our stockholders in the future.

We intend to continue to make monthly distributions to our stockholders in amounts such that we distribute all or substantially all of our REIT taxable income in each year, subject to certain adjustments. We have not established a minimum distribution payment level, and our ability to make distributions might be harmed by the risk factors described in this prospectus. All distributions will be made at the discretion of our Board of Directors out of funds legally available therefor and will depend on our earnings, our financial condition, qualifying and maintaining our qualification as a REIT and such other factors as our Board of Directors may deem relevant from time to time. We cannot assure you that we will have the ability to make distributions to our stockholders in the future. To the extent that we decide to pay distributions from the proceeds of a securities offerings, such distributions would generally be considered a return of capital for U.S. federal income tax purposes. A return of capital reduces the basis of a stockholder’s investment in our common stock to the extent of such basis and is treated as capital gain thereafter.

Future offerings of debt securities, which would be senior to our common stock upon liquidation, or equity securities, which would dilute our existing stockholders and may be senior to our common stock for the purposes of distributions, may harm the value of our common stock.

In the future, we may attempt to increase our capital resources by making additional offerings of debt or equity securities, including commercial paper, medium-term notes, senior or subordinated notes and classes of preferred stock or common stock, as well as warrants to purchase shares of common stock or convertible preferred stock. Upon the liquidation of the Company, holders of our debt securities and shares of preferred stock and lenders with respect to other borrowings will receive a distribution of our available assets prior to the holders of our common stock. Additional equity offerings by us may dilute the holdings of our existing stockholders or reduce the market value of our common stock, or both. Our preferred stock, if issued, would have a preference on distributions that could limit our ability to make distributions to the holders of our common stock. Furthermore, a majority of our entire Board of Directors may, without stockholder approval, amend our charter to increase the aggregate number of our shares or the number of shares of any class or series that we have the authority to issue, and our Board of Directors, without stockholder approval, may also classify or reclassify any unissued shares of common stock or preferred stock. Because our decision to issue securities in any future offering will depend on market conditions and other factors beyond our control, we cannot predict or estimate the amount, timing or nature of our future offerings. Our stockholders are therefore subject to the risk of our future securities offerings reducing the market price of our common stock and diluting their common stock.

The market value of our common stock may be volatile.

The market value of shares of our common stock may be based primarily upon current and expected future cash dividends, and the market price of shares of our common stock will be influenced by the dividends on those shares relative to market interest rates. Rising interest rates may lead potential buyers of our common stock to expect a higher dividend rate, which could adversely affect the market price of shares of our common stock. As a result, the market price of our common stock may be highly volatile and subject to wide price fluctuations. In addition, the trading volume in our common stock may fluctuate and cause significant price variations to occur. Some of the factors that could negatively affect the share price or trading volume of our common stock include:

 

    actual or anticipated variations in our operating results or distributions;

 

    changes in our earnings estimates or publication of research reports about us or the real estate or specialty finance industry;

 

    increases in market interest rates that lead purchasers of our common stock to expect a higher dividend yield;

 

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    changes in market valuations of similar companies;

 

    adverse market reaction to any increased indebtedness we incur in the future;

 

    a change in our Manager or additions or departures of key management personnel;

 

    actions by institutional stockholders;

 

    speculation in the press or investment community; and

 

    general market and economic conditions.

We cannot make any assurances that the market price of our common stock will not fluctuate or decline significantly in the future.

Broad market fluctuations could harm the market price of our common stock.

The stock market has experienced extreme price and volume fluctuations in the past that have affected the market price of many companies’ stock in industries similar or related to ours and that have been unrelated to these companies’ operating performances. These broad market fluctuations could occur again and could reduce the market price of our common stock. Furthermore, our operating results and prospects may be below the expectations of public market analysts and investors or may be lower than those of companies with comparable market capitalizations, which could harm the market price of our common stock.

Shares of our common stock eligible for future sale may harm our share price.

We cannot predict the effect, if any, of future sales of shares of our common stock, or the availability of shares for future sales, on the market price of our common stock. Sales of substantial amounts of these shares of our common stock, or the perception that these sales could occur, may harm prevailing market prices for our common stock. The 2012 Equity Incentive Plan provides for grants of up to an aggregate of 10% of the issued and outstanding shares of our common stock (on a fully diluted basis) at the time of the award, subject to a maximum aggregate number of shares of common stock that may be issued under the 2012 Equity Incentive Plan of 4,000,000 shares of common stock. Bimini currently owns 981,665 shares of our common stock. If Bimini sells a large number of our securities in the public market, the sale could reduce the market price of our common stock and could impede our ability to raise future capital.

An increase in market interest rates may cause a material decrease in the market price of our common stock.

One of the factors that investors may consider in deciding whether to buy or sell shares of our common stock is our distribution rate as a percentage of our share price relative to market interest rates. If the market price of our common stock is based primarily on the earnings and returns that we derive from our investments and income with respect to our investments and our related distributions to stockholders, and not from the market value of the investments themselves, then interest rate fluctuations and capital market conditions are likely to adversely affect the market price of our common stock. For instance, if market rates rise without an increase in our distribution rate, the market price of our common stock could decrease as potential investors may require a higher distribution yield on our common stock or seek other securities paying higher distributions or interest. In addition, rising interest rates would result in increased interest expense on our variable rate debt, thereby reducing cash flow and our ability to service our indebtedness and pay distributions.

Risks Related to Our Organization and Structure

Loss of our exemption from regulation under the Investment Company Act would negatively affect the value of shares of our common stock and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

We have operated and intend to continue to operate our business so as to be exempt from registration under the Investment Company Act, because we are “primarily engaged in the business of purchasing or otherwise

 

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acquiring mortgages and other liens on and interests in real estate.” Specifically, we invest and intend to continue to invest so that at least 55% of the assets that we own on an unconsolidated basis consist of qualifying mortgages and other liens and interests in real estate, which are collectively referred to as “qualifying real estate assets,” and so that at least 80% of the assets we own on an unconsolidated basis consist of real estate-related assets (including our qualifying real estate assets). We treat Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae whole-pool residential mortgage pass-through securities issued with respect to an underlying pool of mortgage loans in which we hold all of the certificates issued by the pool as qualifying real estate assets based on no-action letters issued by the SEC. To the extent that the SEC publishes new or different guidance with respect to these matters, we may fail to qualify for this exemption.

On August 31, 2011, the SEC issued a concept release (No. IC-29778; File No. SW7-34-11, Companies Engaged in the Business of Acquiring Mortgages and Mortgage-Related Instruments) pursuant to which it is reviewing whether certain companies that invest in RMBS and rely on the exemption from registration under Section 3(c)(5)(C) of the Investment Company Act (such as us) should continue to be allowed to rely on such exemption from registration.

If we fail to qualify for this exemption, we could be required to restructure our activities in a manner that, or at a time when, we would not otherwise choose to do so, which could negatively affect the value of shares of our common stock and our ability to distribute dividends. For example, if the market value of our investments in CMOs or structured Agency RMBS, neither of which are qualifying real estate assets for Investment Company Act purposes, were to increase by an amount that resulted in less than 55% of our assets being invested in pass-through Agency RMBS, we might have to sell CMOs or structured Agency RMBS in order to maintain our exemption from the Investment Company Act. The sale could occur during adverse market conditions, and we could be forced to accept a price below that which we believe is acceptable.

Alternatively, if we fail to qualify for this exemption, we may have to register under the Investment Company Act and we could become subject to substantial regulation with respect to our capital structure (including our ability to use leverage), management, operations, transactions with affiliated persons (as defined in the Investment Company Act), portfolio composition, including restrictions with respect to diversification and industry concentration, and other matters.

We may be required at times to adopt less efficient methods of financing certain of our securities, and we may be precluded from acquiring certain types of higher yielding securities. The net effect of these factors would be to lower our net interest income. If we fail to qualify for an exemption from registration as an investment company or an exclusion from the definition of an investment company, our ability to use leverage would be substantially reduced, and we would not be able to conduct our business as described in this prospectus. Our business will be materially and adversely affected if we fail to qualify for and maintain an exemption from regulation pursuant to the Investment Company Act.

Failure to obtain and maintain an exemption from being regulated as a commodity pool operator could subject us to additional regulation and compliance requirements and may result in fines and other penalties which could materially adversely affect our business and financial condition.

The Dodd-Frank Act established a comprehensive new regulatory framework for derivative contracts commonly referred to as “swaps.” As a result, any investment fund that trades in swaps may be considered a “commodity pool,” which would cause its operators (in some cases the fund’s directors) to be regulated as “commodity pool operators” (“CPOs”). Under new rules adopted by the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, (the “CFTC”), those funds that become commodity pools solely because of their use of swaps must register with the National Futures Association (the “NFA”). Registration requires compliance with the CFTC’s regulations and the NFA’s rules with respect to capital raising, disclosure, reporting, recordkeeping and other business conduct. However, the CFTC’s Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight recently issued a no-action letter saying, although it believes that mortgage REITs are properly considered commodity pools, it

 

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would not recommend that the CFTC take enforcement action against the operator of a mortgage REIT who does not register as a CPO if, among other things, the mortgage REIT limits the initial margin and premiums required to establish its swaps, futures and other commodity interest positions to not more than five percent (5%) of its total assets, the mortgage REIT limits the net income derived annually from those commodity interest positions which are not qualifying hedging transactions to less than five percent (5%) of its gross income and interests in the mortgage REIT are not marketed to the public as or in a commodity pool or otherwise as or in a vehicle for trading in the commodity futures, commodity options or swaps markets.

We use hedging instruments in conjunction with our investment portfolio and related borrowings to reduce or mitigate risks associated with changes in interest rates, mortgage spreads, yield curve shapes and market volatility. These hedging instruments include interest rate swaps, interest rate futures and options on interest rate futures. We do not currently engage in any speculative derivatives activities or other non-hedging transactions using swaps, futures or options on futures. We do not use these instruments for the purpose of trading in commodity interests, and we do not consider our company or its operations to be a commodity pool as to which CPO registration or compliance is required. We have claimed the relief afforded by the above-described no-action letter. Consequently, we will be restricted to operating within the parameters discussed in the no-action letter and will not enter into hedging transactions covered by the no-action letter if they would cause us to exceed the limits set forth in the no-action letter. However, there can be no assurance that the CFTC will agree that we are entitled to the no-action letter relief claimed.

The CFTC has substantial enforcement power with respect to violations of the laws over which it has jurisdiction, including their anti-fraud and anti-manipulation provisions. For example, the CFTC may suspend or revoke the registration of or the no-action relief afforded to a person who fails to comply with commodities laws and regulations, prohibit such a person from trading or doing business with registered entities, impose civil money penalties, require restitution and seek fines or imprisonment for criminal violations. In the event that the CFTC asserts that we are not entitled to the no-action letter relief claimed, we may be obligated to furnish additional disclosures and reports, among other things. Further, a private right of action exists against those who violate the laws over which the CFTC has jurisdiction or who willfully aid, abet, counsel, induce or procure a violation of those laws. In the event that we fail to comply with statutory requirements relating to derivatives or with the CFTC’s rules thereunder, including the no-action letter described above, we may be subject to significant fines, penalties and other civil or governmental actions or proceedings, any of which could have a materially adverse effect on our business, financial condition and results of operations.

Our ownership limitations and certain other provisions of applicable law and our charter and bylaws may restrict business combination opportunities that would otherwise be favorable to our stockholders.

Our charter and bylaws and Maryland law contain provisions that may delay, defer or prevent a change in control or other transaction that might involve a premium price for our common stock or otherwise be in the best interests of our stockholders, including business combination provisions, supermajority vote and cause requirements for removal of directors, provisions that vacancies on our Board of Directors may be filled only by the remaining directors, for the full term of the directorship in which the vacancy occurred, the power of our Board of Directors to increase or decrease the aggregate number of authorized shares of stock or the number of shares of any class or series of stock, to cause us to issue additional shares of stock of any class or series and to fix the terms of one or more classes or series of stock without stockholder approval, the restrictions on ownership and transfer of our stock and advance notice requirements for director nominations and stockholder proposals.

To assist us in qualifying as a REIT, among other purposes, ownership of our stock by any person will generally be limited to 9.8% in value or number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of any class or series of our stock, except that Bimini may own up to 35.0% of our common stock so long as Bimini continues to qualify as a REIT. Additionally, our charter will prohibit beneficial or constructive ownership of our stock that would otherwise result in our failure to qualify as a REIT. The ownership rules in our charter are complex and may cause the outstanding stock owned by a group of related individuals or entities to be deemed to be owned by one

 

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individual or entity. As a result, these ownership rules could cause an individual or entity to unintentionally own shares beneficially or constructively in excess of our ownership limits. Any attempt to own or transfer shares of our common stock or preferred stock in excess of our ownership limits without the consent of our Board of Directors will result in such shares being transferred to a charitable trust. These provisions may inhibit market activity and the resulting opportunity for our stockholders to receive a premium for their stock that might otherwise exist if any person were to attempt to assemble a block of shares of our stock in excess of the number of shares permitted under our charter and that may be in the best interests of our security holders.

A majority of our entire Board of Directors may, without stockholder approval, amend our charter to increase or decrease the aggregate number of our shares or the number of shares of any class or series that we have the authority to issue and our Board of Directors, without stockholder approval, may also classify or reclassify any unissued shares of common stock or preferred stock, and set the preferences, rights and other terms of the classified or reclassified shares. As a result, our Board of Directors may take actions with respect to our common stock or preferred stock that may have the effect of delaying or preventing a change in control, including transactions at a premium over the market price of our shares, even if stockholders believe that a change in control is in their interest. These provisions, along with the restrictions on ownership and transfer contained in our charter and certain provisions of Maryland law described below, could discourage unsolicited acquisition proposals or make it more difficult for a third party to gain control of us, which could adversely affect the market price of our securities.

Our rights and the rights of our stockholders to take action against our directors and officers are limited, which could limit your recourse in the event of actions not in your best interests.

Our charter limits the liability of our directors and officers to us and our stockholders for money damages to the maximum extent permitted under Maryland law. Under current Maryland law, our present and former directors and officers will not have any liability to us or our stockholders for money damages, except for liability resulting from:

 

    actual receipt of an improper benefit or profit in money, property or services; or

 

    a final judgment based upon a finding of active and deliberate dishonesty by the director or officer that was material to the cause of action adjudicated.

We have entered into indemnification agreements with our directors and executive officers that obligate us to indemnify them to the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law. In addition, our charter authorizes the Company to obligate itself, and our bylaws obligate us, to indemnify our present and former directors and officers for actions taken by them in those and other capacities to the maximum extent permitted by Maryland law. In addition, we may be obligated to advance the defense costs incurred by our directors and officers. As a result, we and our stockholders may have more limited rights against our directors and officers than might otherwise exist absent the provisions in our charter, bylaws and indemnification agreements or that might exist with other companies.

Certain provisions of Maryland law could inhibit changes in control.

Certain provisions of the Maryland General Corporation Law (the “MGCL”), may have the effect of inhibiting a third party from making a proposal to acquire us or impeding a change of control under circumstances that otherwise could provide our stockholders with the opportunity to realize a premium over the then-prevailing market price of our common stock, including:

 

   

“business combination” provisions that, subject to limitations, prohibit certain business combinations between us and an “interested stockholder” (defined generally as any person who beneficially owns 10% or more of the voting power of our outstanding voting stock or an affiliate or associate of ours who, at any time within the two-year period immediately prior to the date in question, was the beneficial owner of 10% or more of the voting power of our then-outstanding stock) or an affiliate of

 

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an interested stockholder for five years after the most recent date on which the stockholder became an interested stockholder, and thereafter require two supermajority stockholder votes to approve any such combination; and

 

    “control share” provisions that provide that a holder of “control shares” of the Company (defined as voting shares of stock which, when aggregated with all other shares of stock owned by the acquiror or in respect of which the acquiror is able to exercise or direct the exercise of voting power (except solely by virtue of a revocable proxy), entitle the acquiror to exercise one of three increasing ranges of voting power in electing directors) acquired in a “control share acquisition” (defined as the direct or indirect acquisition of ownership or control of issued and outstanding “control shares,” subject to certain exceptions) generally has no voting rights with respect to the control shares except to the extent approved by our stockholders by the affirmative vote of two-thirds of all the votes entitled to be cast on the matter, excluding all interested shares.

We have elected to opt-out of these provisions of the MGCL, in the case of the business combination provisions, by resolution of our Board of Directors (provided that such business combination is first approved by our Board of Directors, including a majority of our directors who are not affiliates or associates of such person), and in the case of the control share provisions, pursuant to a provision in our bylaws. However, our Board of Directors may by resolution elect to repeal the foregoing opt-out from the business combination provisions of the MGCL, and we may, by amendment to our bylaws, opt in to the control share provisions of the MGCL in the future.

We may be subject to adverse legislative or regulatory changes that could reduce the market price of our common stock.

At any time, laws or regulations, or the administrative interpretations of those laws or regulations, that impact our business and Maryland corporations may be amended. In addition, the markets for RMBS and derivatives, including interest rate swaps, have been the subject of intense scrutiny in recent months. We cannot predict when or if any new law, regulation or administrative interpretation, or any amendment to any existing law, regulation or administrative interpretation, will be adopted or promulgated or will become effective. Additionally, revisions to these laws, regulations or administrative interpretations could cause us to change our investments. We could be materially adversely affected by any such change to any existing, or any new, law, regulation or administrative interpretation, which could reduce the market price of our common stock.

U.S. Federal Income Tax Risks

Your investment has various U.S. federal income tax risks.

This summary of certain tax risks is limited to the federal tax risks addressed below. Additional risks or issues may exist that are not addressed in this prospectus and that could affect the federal tax treatment of us or our stockholders. This is not intended to be used and cannot be used by any stockholder to avoid penalties that may be imposed on stockholders under the Code. We strongly urge you to seek advice based on your particular circumstances from an independent tax advisor concerning the effects of federal, state and local income tax law on an investment in common stock and on your individual tax situation.

Our failure to qualify or maintain our qualification as a REIT would subject us to U.S. federal income tax, which could adversely affect the value of the shares of our common stock and would substantially reduce the cash available for distribution to our stockholders.

We believe that commencing with our short taxable year ended December 31, 2013, we have been organized and have operated in conformity with the requirements for qualification as a REIT under the Code, and we intend to operate in a manner that will enable us to continue to meet the requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT. However, we cannot assure you that we will qualify and remain qualified as a REIT.

 

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Moreover, our qualification and taxation as a REIT will depend upon our ability to meet on a continuing basis, through actual annual operating results, certain qualification tests set forth in the U.S. federal tax laws. Accordingly, given the complex nature of the rules governing REITs, the ongoing importance of factual determinations, including the potential tax treatment of investments we make, and the possibility of future changes in our circumstances, no assurance can be given that our actual results of operations for any particular taxable year will satisfy such requirements.

If we fail to qualify as a REIT in any calendar year, we would be required to pay U.S. federal income tax (and any applicable state and local tax), including any applicable alternative minimum tax, on our taxable income at regular corporate rates, and dividends paid to our stockholders would not be deductible by us in computing our taxable income. Further, if we fail to qualify as a REIT, we might need to borrow money or sell assets in order to pay any resulting tax. Our payment of income tax would decrease the amount of our income available for distribution to our stockholders. Furthermore, if we fail to maintain our qualification as a REIT, we no longer would be required under U.S. federal tax laws to distribute substantially all of our REIT taxable income to our stockholders. Unless our failure to qualify as a REIT was subject to relief under U.S. federal tax laws, we could not re-elect to qualify as a REIT until the fifth calendar year following the year in which we failed to qualify.

If Bimini failed to qualify as a REIT in its 2009 through 2013 taxable years, we would be prevented from electing to qualify as a REIT under applicable Treasury Regulations.

We were formed by Bimini in August 2010. We believe that from the time of our formation until the closing of the public offering of our common stock, we were a “qualified REIT subsidiary” of Bimini. However, under applicable Treasury Regulations, if Bimini failed to qualify as a REIT in its 2009 through 2013 taxable years, unless Bimini’s failure to qualify as a REIT was subject to relief under U.S. federal tax laws, we would be prevented from electing to qualify as a REIT prior to the fifth calendar year following the year in which Bimini failed to qualify.

Complying with REIT requirements may cause us to forego or liquidate otherwise attractive investments.

To qualify as a REIT, we must continually satisfy various tests regarding the sources of our income, the nature and diversification of our assets, the amounts we distribute to our stockholders and the ownership of our stock. In order to meet these tests, we may be required to forego investments we might otherwise make. Thus, compliance with the REIT requirements may hinder our investment performance.

In particular, we must ensure that at the end of each calendar quarter, at least 75% of the value of our total assets consists of cash, cash items, government securities and qualified REIT real estate assets, including Agency RMBS. The remainder of our investment in securities (other than government securities and qualified real estate assets) generally cannot include more than 10% of the outstanding voting securities of any one issuer or more than 10% of the total value of the outstanding securities of any one issuer. In addition, in general, no more than 5% of the value of our total assets (other than government securities, TRS securities, and qualified real estate assets) can consist of the securities of any one issuer, and no more than 25% of the value of our total assets can be represented by securities of one or more TRSs. Generally, if we fail to comply with these requirements at the end of any calendar quarter, we must correct the failure within 30 days after the end of the calendar quarter or qualify for certain statutory relief provisions to avoid losing our REIT qualification and becoming subject to U.S. federal income tax (and any applicable state and local taxes) on all of our income. As a result, we may be required to liquidate from our portfolio otherwise attractive investments or contribute such investments to a TRS. These actions could have the effect of reducing our income and amounts available for distribution to our stockholders.

Failure to make required distributions would subject us to tax, which would reduce the cash available for distribution to our stockholders.

To qualify as a REIT, we must distribute to our stockholders each calendar year at least 90% of our REIT taxable income (including certain items of non-cash income), determined without regard to the deduction for

 

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dividends paid and excluding net capital gain. To the extent that we satisfy the 90% distribution requirement, but distribute less than 100% of our taxable income, we will be subject to federal corporate income tax on our undistributed income. In addition, we will incur a 4% nondeductible excise tax on the amount, if any, by which our distributions in any calendar year are less than the sum of:

 

    85% of our REIT ordinary income for that year;

 

    95% of our REIT capital gain net income for that year; and

 

    any undistributed taxable income from prior years.

We intend to distribute our REIT taxable income to our stockholders in a manner intended to satisfy the 90% distribution requirement and to avoid both corporate income tax and the 4% nondeductible excise tax. However, there is no requirement that TRSs distribute their after-tax net income to their parent REIT or their stockholders.

Our taxable income may be substantially different than our net income as determined based on generally accepted accounting principles in the United States (“GAAP”), because, for example, realized capital losses will be deducted in determining our GAAP net income, but may not be deductible in computing our taxable income. In addition, unrealized portfolio gains and losses are included in GAAP net income, but are not included in REIT taxable income. Also, we may invest in assets that generate taxable income in excess of economic income or in advance of the corresponding cash flow from the assets. As a result of the foregoing, we may generate less cash flow than taxable income in a particular year. To the extent that we generate such non-cash taxable income in a taxable year, we may incur corporate income tax and the 4% nondeductible excise tax on that income if we do not distribute such income to stockholders in that year. In that event, we may be required to use cash reserves, incur debt, sell assets, make taxable distributions of our stock or debt securities or liquidate non-cash assets at rates or at times that we regard as unfavorable to satisfy the distribution requirement and to avoid corporate income tax and the 4% nondeductible excise tax in that year.

Even if we qualify as a REIT, we may face other tax liabilities that reduce our cash flows.

Even if we qualify for taxation as a REIT, we may be subject to certain federal, state and local taxes on our income and assets, including taxes on any undistributed income, tax on income from some activities conducted as a result of a foreclosure, and state or local income, property and transfer taxes. In addition, any TRSs we form will be subject to regular corporate federal, state and local taxes. Any of these taxes would decrease cash available for distributions to stockholders.

The failure of Agency RMBS subject to a repurchase agreement to qualify as real estate assets would adversely affect our ability to qualify as a REIT.

We have entered and intend to continue to enter into repurchase agreements under which we will nominally sell certain of our Agency RMBS to a counterparty and simultaneously enter into an agreement to repurchase the sold assets. We believe that for U.S. federal income tax purposes these transactions will be treated as secured debt and we will be treated as the owner of the Agency RMBS that are the subject of any such agreement notwithstanding that such agreement may transfer record ownership of such assets to the counterparty during the term of the agreement. It is possible, however, that the IRS could successfully assert that we do not own the Agency RMBS during the term of the repurchase agreement, in which case we could fail to qualify as a REIT.

Our ability to invest in and dispose of contracts for delayed delivery transactions, or delayed delivery contracts, including “to be announced” securities, could be limited by the requirements necessary to qualify as a REIT, and we could fail to qualify as a REIT as a result of these investments.

We may purchase Agency RMBS through delayed delivery contracts, including “to-be-announced” forward contracts, or TBAs. We may recognize income or gains on the disposition of delayed delivery contracts. For

 

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example, rather than take delivery of the Agency RMBS subject to a TBA, we may dispose of the TBA through a “roll” transaction in which we agree to purchase similar securities in the future at a predetermined price or otherwise, which may result in the recognition of income or gains. The law is unclear regarding whether delayed delivery contracts will be qualifying assets for the 75% asset test and whether income and gains from dispositions of delayed delivery contracts will be qualifying income for the 75% gross income test.

Until we receive a favorable private letter ruling from the IRS or we are advised by counsel that delayed delivery contracts should be treated as qualifying assets for purposes of the 75% asset test, we will limit our investment in delayed delivery contracts and any non-qualifying assets to no more than 25% of our total gross assets at the end of any calendar quarter and will limit the delayed delivery contracts issued by any one issuer to no more than 5% of our total gross assets at the end of any calendar quarter. Further, until we receive a favorable private letter ruling from the IRS or we are advised by counsel that income and gains from the disposition of delayed delivery contracts should be treated as qualifying income for purposes of the 75% gross income test, we will limit our income and gains from dispositions of delayed delivery contracts and any non-qualifying income to no more than 25% of our gross income for each calendar year. Accordingly, our ability to purchase Agency RMBS through delayed delivery contracts and to dispose of delayed delivery contracts through roll transactions or otherwise, could be limited.

Moreover, even if we are advised by counsel that delayed delivery contracts should be treated as qualifying assets or that income and gains from dispositions of delayed delivery contracts should be treated as qualifying income, it is possible that the IRS could successfully take the position that such assets are not qualifying assets and such income is not qualifying income. In that event, we could be subject to a penalty tax or we could fail to qualify as a REIT if (i) the value of our delayed delivery contracts together with our non-qualifying assets for the 75% asset test, exceeded 25% of our total gross assets at the end of any calendar quarter, (ii) the value of our delayed delivery contracts, including TBAs, issued by any one issuer exceeds 5% of our total assets at the end of any calendar quarter, or (iii) our income and gains from the disposition of delayed delivery contracts together with our non-qualifying income for the 75% gross income test, exceeded 25% of our gross income for any taxable year.

Complying with REIT requirements may limit our ability to hedge effectively.

The REIT provisions of the Code substantially limit our ability to hedge. Our aggregate gross income from non-qualifying hedges, fees, and certain other non-qualifying sources cannot exceed 5% of our annual gross income. As a result, we might have to limit our use of advantageous hedging techniques or implement those hedges through a TRS. Any hedging income earned by a TRS would be subject to federal, state and local income tax at regular corporate rates. This could increase the cost of our hedging activities or expose us to greater risks associated with changes in interest rates than we would otherwise want to bear.

Our ownership of and relationship with any TRSs that we form will be limited and a failure to comply with the limits would jeopardize our REIT qualification and may result in the application of a 100% excise tax.

A REIT may own up to 100% of the stock of one or more TRSs. A TRS may earn income that would not be qualifying income if earned directly by the parent REIT. Both the subsidiary and the REIT must jointly elect to treat the subsidiary as a TRS. A corporation (other than a REIT) of which a TRS directly or indirectly owns more than 35% of the voting power or value of the stock will automatically be treated as a TRS. Overall, no more than 25% of the value of a REIT’s total assets may consist of stock or securities of one or more TRSs. A domestic TRS will pay federal, state and local income tax at regular corporate rates on any income that it earns. In addition, the TRS rules limit the deductibility of interest paid or accrued by a TRS to its parent REIT to assure that the TRS is subject to an appropriate level of corporate taxation. The rules also impose a 100% excise tax on certain transactions between a TRS and its parent REIT that are not conducted on an arm’s length basis. Any domestic TRS that we may form will pay federal, state and local income tax on its taxable income, and its after-tax net income will be available for distribution to us but is not required to be distributed to us unless necessary to maintain our REIT qualification.

 

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We may pay taxable dividends in cash and our common stock, in which case stockholders may sell shares of our common stock to pay tax on such dividends, placing downward pressure on the market price of our common stock.

We may make taxable dividends that are payable partly in cash and partly in our common stock. The IRS has issued private letter rulings to other REITs treating certain distributions that are paid partly in cash and partly in stock as dividends that would satisfy the REIT annual distribution requirement and qualify for the dividends paid deduction for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Those rulings may be relied upon only by the taxpayers to whom they were issued, but we could request a similar ruling from the IRS. In addition, the IRS previously issued a revenue procedure authorizing publicly traded REITs to make elective cash/stock dividends, but that revenue procedure has expired. Accordingly, it is unclear whether and to what extent we will be able to make taxable dividends payable in cash and common stock. Although we have no current intention of paying dividends in our own stock, if in the future we choose to pay dividends in our common stock, our stockholders may be required to pay tax in excess of the cash that they receive. If a U.S. stockholder sells the shares that it receives as a dividend in order to pay this tax, the sales proceeds may be less than the amount included in income with respect to the dividend, depending on the market price of our common stock at the time of the sale. Furthermore, with respect to certain non-U.S. stockholders, we may be required to withhold U.S. federal income tax with respect to such dividends, including in respect of all or a portion of such dividend that is payable in common stock. If we pay dividends in our common stock and a significant number of our stockholders determine to sell shares of our common stock in order to pay taxes owed on dividends, it may put downward pressure on the trading price of our common stock.

Our ownership limitations may restrict change of control or business combination opportunities in which our stockholders might receive a premium for their stock.

In order for us to qualify as a REIT for each taxable year after 2013, no more than 50% in value of our outstanding stock may be owned, directly or indirectly, by five or fewer individuals during the last half of any calendar year. “Individuals” for this purpose include natural persons, private foundations, some employee benefit plans and trusts, and some charitable trusts. In order to assist us in qualifying as a REIT, among other purposes, ownership of our stock by any person is generally limited to 9.8% in value or number of shares, whichever is more restrictive, of any class or series of our stock, except that Bimini may own up to 35.0% of our common stock so long as Bimini continues to qualify as a REIT.

These ownership limitations could have the effect of discouraging a takeover or other transaction in which holders of our common stock might receive a premium for their common stock over the then-prevailing market price or which holders might believe to be otherwise in their best interests.

Dividends payable by REITs do not qualify for the reduced tax rates available for some dividends.

The maximum tax rate applicable to “qualified dividend income” payable to U.S. stockholders that are taxed at individual rates is lower than ordinary income tax rates. Dividends payable by REITs, however, generally are not eligible for the reduced rates on qualified dividend income. The more favorable rates applicable to regular corporate qualified dividends could cause investors who are taxed at individual rates to perceive investments in REITs to be relatively less attractive than investments in the stocks of non-REIT corporations that pay dividends, which could adversely affect the value of the shares of REITs, including our common stock.

We may be subject to adverse legislative or regulatory tax changes that could reduce the market price of our common stock.

At any time, the U.S. federal income tax laws or regulations governing REITs or the administrative interpretations of those laws or regulations may be amended. We cannot predict when or if any new U.S. federal income tax law, regulation or administrative interpretation, or any amendment to any existing U.S. federal income tax law, regulation or administrative interpretation, will be adopted, promulgated or become effective and any such

 

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law, regulation or interpretation may take effect retroactively. We and our stockholders could be adversely affected by any such change in, or any new, U.S. federal income tax law, regulation or administrative interpretation.

Certain financing activities may subject us to U.S. federal income tax and could have negative tax consequences for our stockholders.

We currently do not intend to enter into any transactions that could result in our, or a portion of our assets, being treated as a taxable mortgage pool for U.S. federal income tax purposes. If we enter into such a transaction in the future, we will be taxable at the highest corporate income tax rate on a portion of the income arising from a taxable mortgage pool, referred to as “excess inclusion income,” that is allocable to the percentage of our stock held in record name by disqualified organizations (generally tax-exempt entities that are exempt from the tax on unrelated business taxable income, such as state pension plans, charitable remainder trusts and government entities). In that case, under our charter, we will reduce distributions to such stockholders by the amount of tax paid by us that is attributable to such stockholder’s ownership.

If we were to realize excess inclusion income, IRS guidance indicates that the excess inclusion income would be allocated among our stockholders in proportion to our dividends paid. Excess inclusion income cannot be offset by losses of our stockholders. If the stockholder is a tax-exempt entity and not a disqualified organization, then this income would be fully taxable as unrelated business taxable income under Section 512 of the Code. If the stockholder is a foreign person, it would be subject to U.S. federal income tax at the maximum tax rate and withholding will be required on this income without reduction or exemption pursuant to any otherwise applicable income tax treaty.

Our recognition of “phantom” income may reduce a stockholder’s after-tax return on an investment in our common stock.

We may recognize taxable income in excess of our economic income, known as phantom income, in the first years that we hold certain investments, and experience an offsetting excess of economic income over our taxable income in later years. As a result, stockholders at times may be required to pay U.S. federal income tax on distributions that economically represent a return of capital rather than a dividend. These distributions would be offset in later years by distributions representing economic income that would be treated as returns of capital for U.S. federal income tax purposes. Taking into account the time value of money, this acceleration of U.S. federal income tax liabilities may reduce a stockholder’s after-tax return on his or her investment to an amount less than the after-tax return on an investment with an identical before-tax rate of return that did not generate phantom income.

Liquidation of our assets may jeopardize our REIT qualification.

To qualify and maintain our qualification as a REIT, we must comply with requirements regarding our assets and our sources of income. If we are compelled to liquidate our assets to repay obligations to our lenders, we may be unable to comply with these requirements, thereby jeopardizing our qualification as a REIT, or we may be subject to a 100% tax on any resultant gain if we sell assets that are treated as inventory or property held primarily for sale to customers in the ordinary course of business.

Our qualification as a REIT and exemption from U.S. federal income tax with respect to certain assets may be dependent on the accuracy of legal opinions or advice rendered or given or statements by the issuers of assets that we acquire, and the inaccuracy of any such opinions, advice or statements may adversely affect our REIT qualification and result in significant corporate-level tax.

When purchasing securities, we may rely on opinions or advice of counsel for the issuer of such securities, or statements made in related offering documents, for purposes of determining whether such securities represent debt or equity securities for U.S. federal income tax purposes, the value of such securities, and also to what extent those securities constitute qualified real estate assets for purposes of the REIT asset tests and produce income which qualifies under the 75% gross income test. The inaccuracy of any such opinions, advice or statements may adversely affect our REIT qualification and result in significant corporate-level tax.

 

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USE OF PROCEEDS

We estimate that the net proceeds we will receive from this offering will be approximately $50.6 million (or approximately $58.2 million if the underwriters fully exercise their overallotment option), after deducting the underwriting discount and commissions of approximately $2.7 million (or approximately $3.1 million if the underwriters fully exercise their overallotment option) and estimated offering expenses of approximately $0.16 million payable by us.

We intend to invest the net proceeds of this offering in (i) pass-through Agency RMBS backed by hybrid ARMs, ARMs and fixed-rate mortgage loans and (ii) structured Agency RMBS. Specifically, we intend to invest the net proceeds of this offering as follows:

 

    Approximately 40% to 80% in pass-through Agency RMBS. Of the 40% to 80% of the net proceeds allocated to pass-through Agency RMBS, the net proceeds will be further allocated as follows:

 

    approximately 50% to 100% in pass-through Agency RMBS backed by fixed-rate mortgage loans;

 

    approximately 0% to 75% in pass-through Agency RMBS backed by ARMs; and

 

    approximately 0% to 75% in pass-through Agency RMBS backed by hybrid ARMs.

 

    The remaining 20% to 60% of the proceeds will be allocated to structured Agency RMBS.

We expect to fully invest the net proceeds of this offering in Agency RMBS within approximately three months of closing the offering and, for our pass-through Agency RMBS portfolio and a certain portion of our structured Agency RMBS portfolio, to implement our leveraging strategy within approximately three additional months. We then expect to borrow against the pass-through Agency RMBS and a portion of our structured Agency RMBS that we purchase with the proceeds of this offering through repurchase agreements and use the net proceeds of the borrowings to acquire additional pass-through Agency RMBS and structured Agency RMBS in accordance with a similar targeted allocation. We reserve the right to change our targeted allocation depending on prevailing market conditions, including, among others, the pricing and supply of Agency RMBS and structured Agency RMBS, the performance of our portfolio and the availability and terms of financing.

Until these assets can be identified and obtained, we may temporarily invest the balance of the proceeds of this offering in interest-bearing short-term investment grade securities or money market accounts consistent with our intention to qualify and maintain our qualification as a REIT, or we may hold cash. These investments are expected to provide a lower net return than we hope to achieve from our intended investments.

 

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MARKET PRICE OF OUR COMMON STOCK

Our common stock trades on the NYSE MKT under the symbol “ORC.” As of March 13, 2014, there were 5,411,665 shares of our common stock outstanding and two stockholders of record. The number of beneficial holders is substantially greater than the number of holders of record as a large portion of our common stock is held through brokerage firms. On March 13, 2014, the closing price of our common stock, as reported on the NYSE MKT, was $13.35. The table below sets forth the high and low sales price per share of our common stock as reported on the NYSE MKT for the periods indicated.

 

     Orchid Island Capital, Inc.
Common Stock
 
         High              Low      

2014

     

First Quarter (through March 13, 2014)

   $ 14.40       $ 11.82   

2013

     

First Quarter (period from February 14, 2013 through March 31, 2013)(1)

   $ 15.40      $ 13.50  

Second Quarter

   $ 14.00      $ 10.60  

Third Quarter

   $ 12.94      $ 10.02  

Fourth Quarter

   $ 13.25      $ 10.91  

 

(1) Our common stock began trading on the NYSE MKT on February 14, 2013.

 

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DISTRIBUTION POLICY

We intend to continue to make regular monthly cash distributions to our stockholders, as more fully described below. To qualify as a REIT, we must distribute annually to our stockholders an amount at least equal to 90% of our REIT taxable income, determined without regard to the deduction for dividends paid and excluding any net capital gain. We will be subject to income tax on our taxable income that is not distributed and to an excise tax to the extent that certain percentages of our taxable income are not distributed by specified dates. See “Material U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations.” Income as computed for purposes of the foregoing tax rules will not necessarily correspond to our income as determined for financial reporting purposes pursuant to GAAP.

We have declared and paid, or, in the case of the dividend declared March 11, 2014, will pay, the dividends described in the table below since the completion of our initial public offering.

 

     Dividends Declared per Share of Common Stock  

Declaration Date

   Amount      Record Date      Date of Payment  

March 8, 2013

   $ 0.135         March 25, 2013        March 27, 2013   

April 10, 2013

   $ 0.135         April 25, 2013        April 30, 2013   

May 9, 2013

   $ 0.135         May 28, 2013        May 31, 2013   

June 10, 2013

   $ 0.135         June 25, 2013        June 28, 2013   

July 9, 2013

   $ 0.135         July 25, 2013        July 31, 2013   

August 12, 2013

   $ 0.135         August 26, 2013        August 30, 2013   

September 10, 2013

   $ 0.135         September 25, 2013        September 30, 2013   

October 10, 2013

   $ 0.135         October 25, 2013        October 31, 2013   

November 12, 2013

   $ 0.135         November 25, 2013        November 27, 2013   

December 10, 2013

   $ 0.180         December 26, 2013        December 30, 2013   

January 9, 2014

   $ 0.180         January 27, 2014        January 31, 2014   

February 11, 2014

   $ 0.180         February 25, 2014         February 28, 2014   

March 11, 2014

   $ 0.180         March 26, 2014         March 31, 2014   

Any additional distributions we make will be authorized by and at the discretion of our Board of Directors based upon a variety of factors deemed relevant by our directors, which may include:

 

    actual results of operations;

 

    our financial condition;

 

    our level of retained cash flows;

 

    our capital requirements;

 

    the timing of the investment of the net proceeds of this offering;

 

    any debt service requirements;

 

    our taxable income;

 

    the annual distribution requirements under the REIT provisions of the Code;

 

    applicable provisions of Maryland law; and

 

    other factors that our Board of Directors may deem relevant.

We have not established a minimum distribution payment level, and we cannot assure you of our ability to make distributions to our stockholders in the future.

Our charter authorizes us to issue preferred stock that could have a preference over our common stock with respect to distributions. We currently have no intention to issue any preferred stock, but if we do, the distribution preference on the preferred stock could limit our ability to make distributions to the holders of our common stock.

 

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Our ability to make distributions to our stockholders will depend upon the performance of our investment portfolio, and, in turn, upon our Manager’s management of our business. To the extent that our cash available for distribution is less than the amount required to be distributed under the REIT provisions of the Code, we may consider various funding sources to cover any shortfall, including selling certain of our assets, borrowing funds or using a portion of the net proceeds we receive in this offering or future offerings (and thus all or a portion of such distributions may constitute a return of capital for U.S. federal income tax purposes). We also may elect to pay all or a portion of any distribution in the form of a taxable distribution of our stock or debt securities. We do not currently intend to pay future distributions from the proceeds of this offering. In addition, our Board of Directors may change our distribution policy in the future. See “Risk Factors.”

 

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CAPITALIZATION

The following table sets forth our capitalization as of December 31, 2013:

 

    on an actual basis;

 

    on an as adjusted basis to effect to the sale of 2,070,000 shares of our common stock for net proceeds of approximately $24.2 million, after deducting underwriters’ discount and commissions and offering expenses, which closed on January 23, 2014 (including 270,000 shares sold pursuant to the full exercise of the overallotment option granted to the underwriters, which closed on January 29, 2014), which we refer to as the January 2014 Offering; and

 

    on an as adjusted basis to give effect to the January 2014 Offering and the sale of 4,000,000 shares of our common stock in this offering at $13.35 per share for net proceeds of approximately $50.6 million, after deducting the underwriting discount and commissions of approximately $2.7 million and estimated offering expenses of approximately $0.16 million.

You should read this table together with “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operation” and our financial statements and related notes included elsewhere in this prospectus.

 

    December 31, 2013
(in thousands)
 
    Actual (1)     As Adjusted for
the January2014
Offering (2)
    As Adjusted for
this Offering (3)
 

STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY

     

Common stock, $0.01 par value per share; 500,000,000 shares authorized; 3,341,665 shares, 5,411,665 shares and 9,411,665 shares, respectively, issued and outstanding

  $ 33,417      $ 54,117      $ 94,117   

Preferred stock, $0.01 par value; 100,000,000 shares authorized; no shares issued and outstanding, actual and as adjusted

    —          —          —     

Additional paid-in capital

    46,115,961        70,284,104        120,814,104   

Accumulated deficit

    (1,384,031     (1,384,031     (1,384,031
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

TOTAL STOCKHOLDERS’ EQUITY

  $ 44,765,347      $ 68,954,190      $ 119,524,190   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

(1) Does not include up to 4,000,000 shares of common stock reserved for issuance under our 2012 Equity Incentive Plan, with grants under such plan subject to a cap of an aggregate of 10% of the issued and outstanding shares of our common stock (on a fully diluted basis) at the time of each award. No shares have been awarded under this plan as of the date of this prospectus.
(2) Gives effect to the sale of 2,070,000 shares of our common stock for net proceeds of approximately $24.2 million, after deducting underwriters’ discount and commissions and offering expenses, which closed on January 23, 2014 (including 270,000 shares sold pursuant to the full exercise of the overallotment option granted to the underwriters, which closed on January 29, 2014).
(3) Gives effect to this offering.

 

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DILUTION

Our net tangible book value as of December 31, 2013 was approximately $44.8 million, or $13.40 per share of our common stock. Net tangible book value per share represents the amount of our total tangible assets minus our total liabilities, divided by the aggregate shares of our common stock outstanding. After giving effect to (i) the sale of 2,070,000 shares of our common stock for net proceeds of approximately $24.2 million, after deducting underwriters’ discount and commissions and offering expenses, in the January 2014 Offering, and (ii) the sale of shares of our common stock in this offering at a public offering price of $13.35 per share, and our receipt of the estimated net proceeds from that sale, our as adjusted net tangible book value would be approximately $119.5 million, or approximately $12.70 per share, representing an immediate dilution of approximately $(0.04) per share to our existing stockholders.

The following table illustrates the dilutive effects of this offering on a per share basis:

 

Public offering price per share

   $ 13.35   

Net tangible book value per share as of December 31, 2013, before giving effect to this offering

   $ 13.40  

Decrease in net tangible book value per share attributable to the January 2014 Offering

   $ (0.66

As adjusted net tangible book value per share on December 31, 2013, after giving effect to the January 2014 Offering

   $ 12.74   

Decrease in net tangible book value per share attributable to this offering

   $ (0.04
  

 

 

 

As adjusted net tangible book value per share on December 31, 2013, after giving effect to this offering

   $ 12.70   

Dilution in as adjusted net tangible book value per share attributable to this offering

   $ (0.04

 

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SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA

The following table presents summary selected financial data as of December 31, 2013 and 2012, and for the years ended December 31, 2013, 2012 and 2011. The balance sheet data as of December 31, 2013 and 2012 and the statement of operations data for the years ended December 31, 2013, 2012 and 2011 has been derived from our audited financial statements.

Because the information presented below is only a summary and does not provide all of the information contained in our historical financial statements, including the related notes, you should read it in conjunction with the more detailed information contained in our financial statements and related notes and “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” included elsewhere in this prospectus.

 

     Year Ended December 31,  
     2013     2012     2011  

Statement of Operations Data:

      

Revenues:

      

Interest income

   $ 9,198,858     $ 2,697,922     $ 1,770,957  

Interest expense

     (1,126,204 )     (277,328 )     (96,223 )

Net interest income

     8,072,654       2,420,594       1,674,734  

Realized (losses) gains on mortgage-backed securities

     (1,198,160 )     (307,795 )     409,828  

Unrealized losses on mortgage-backed securities

     (10,732,690 )     (805,932 )     (1,544,171 )

Gains (losses) on futures contracts

     4,828,288       (39,725 )     (138,525 )

Net portfolio income

     970,092       1,267,142       401,866  

Total Expenses

     1,668,098       732,799       1,592,080  
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net (loss) income

   $ (698,006 )   $ 534,343     $ (1,190,214 )
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Basic and diluted (loss) income per share of common stock

   $ (0.23 )   $ 0.54     $ (1.21 )
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

     As of December 31,  
     2013      2012  

Balance Sheet Data:

     

Total mortgage-backed securities

   $ 351,222,512      $ 115,379,574  

Total assets

     363,576,047        118,860,956  

Repurchase agreements

     318,557,054        103,941,174  

Total liabilities

     318,810,700        104,135,981  

Total stockholders’ equity

     44,765,347        14,724,975  

Book value per share of our common stock

   $ 13.40      $ 95.54 (1)

 

(1) The as adjusted net tangible book value per share of our common stock on December 31, 2012, after giving effect to the February 20, 2013 stock dividend, was $15.00.

 

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MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION

AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS

You should read the following discussion in conjunction with the sections of this prospectus entitled “Risk Factors,” “Special Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements,” “Business” and our financial statements and the related notes thereto included elsewhere in this prospectus. This discussion contains forward-looking statements reflecting current expectations that involve risks and uncertainties. Actual results and the timing of events may differ materially from those contained in these forward-looking statements due to a number of factors, including those discussed in the section entitled “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in this prospectus.

Overview

We are a specialty finance company that invests in Agency RMBS. Our investment strategy focuses on, and our portfolio consists of, two categories of Agency RMBS: (i) traditional pass-through Agency RMBS and (ii) structured Agency RMBS, such as CMOs, IOs, IIOs and POs, among other types of structured Agency RMBS. From inception through the closing of the initial public offering of our common stock, we were managed by Bimini. Upon completion of that offering, we became externally managed by Bimini Advisors, a registered investment adviser with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

We were formed by Bimini in August 2010 and commenced operations on November 24, 2010. At December 31, 2012, Bimini was our sole stockholder. We completed our initial public offering on February 20, 2013. In that offering we raised gross proceeds of $35.4 million from the sale of 2,360,000 shares of our common stock. We completed a secondary offering in January 2014, raising net proceeds of approximately $24.2 million from the sale of 2,070,000 shares of our common stock.

Our business objective is to provide attractive risk-adjusted total returns over the long term through a combination of capital appreciation and the payment of regular monthly distributions. We intend to achieve this objective by investing in and strategically allocating capital between the two categories of Agency RMBS described above. We seek to generate income from (i) the net interest margin on our leveraged pass-through Agency RMBS portfolio and the leveraged portion of our structured Agency RMBS portfolio, and (ii) the interest income we generate from the unleveraged portion of our structured Agency RMBS portfolio. We intend to fund our pass-through Agency RMBS and certain of our structured Agency RMBS through short-term borrowings structured as repurchase agreements. Pass-through Agency RMBS and structured Agency RMBS typically exhibit materially different sensitivities to movements in interest rates. Declines in the value of one portfolio may be offset by appreciation in the other. The percentage of capital that we allocate to our two Agency RMBS asset categories will vary and will be actively managed in an effort to maintain the level of income generated by the combined portfolios, the stability of that income stream and the stability of the value of the combined portfolios. We believe that this strategy will enhance our liquidity, earnings, book value stability and asset selection opportunities in various interest rate environments.

We intend to qualify and will elect to be taxed as a REIT under the Code commencing with our short taxable year ended December 31, 2013 upon the filing of our federal income tax return for that year. We generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax to the extent that we currently distribute all of our REIT taxable income to our stockholders and maintain our REIT qualification.

Factors that Affect our Results of Operations and Financial Condition

A variety of industry and economic factors may impact our results of operations and financial condition. These factors include:

 

    interest rate trends;

 

    prepayment rates on mortgages underlying our Agency RMBS, and credit trends insofar as they affect prepayment rates;

 

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    the difference between Agency RMBS yields and our funding and hedging costs;

 

    competition for investments in Agency RMBS;

 

    recent actions taken by the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury; and

 

    other market developments.

In addition, a variety of factors relating to our business may also impact our results of operations and financial condition. These factors include:

 

    our degree of leverage;

 

    our access to funding and borrowing capacity;

 

    our borrowing costs;

 

    our hedging activities;

 

    the market value of our investments; and

 

    the requirements to qualify as a REIT and the requirements to qualify for a registration exemption under the Investment Company Act.

We anticipate that, for any period during which changes in the interest rates for our adjustable rate assets do not coincide with interest rate changes on the corresponding liabilities, such assets will re-price more slowly than the corresponding liabilities. Consequently, changes in interest rates, particularly short term interest rates, may significantly influence our net income.

Our net income may be affected by a difference between actual prepayment rates and our projections. Prepayments on loans and securities may be influenced by changes in market interest rates and homeowners’ abilities and desires to refinance their mortgages.

Results of Operations

Described below are our results of operations for the year ended December 31, 2013, as compared to our results of operations for the year ended December 31, 2012.

Net (Loss) Income Summary

Net loss for the year ended December 31, 2013 was $0.7 million, or $0.23 per share. Net income for the year ended December 31, 2012 was $0.5 million, or $0.54 per share. The components of net (loss) income for the years ended December 31, 2013 and 2012, along with the changes in those components are presented in the table below:

 

(in thousands)    2013     2012     Change  

Interest income

   $ 9,199      $ 2,698      $ 6,501   

Interest expense

     (1,126     (277     (849

Net interest income

     8,073        2,421        5,652   

Losses on RMBS and Eurodollar futures

     (7,103     (1,154     (5,949

Net portfolio income

     970        1,267        (297

Expenses

     (1,668     (733     (935
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Net (loss) income

   $ (698   $ 534      $ (1,232
  

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

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GAAP and Non-GAAP Reconciliation

To date, we have used derivatives, specifically Eurodollar futures contracts, to hedge the interest rate risk on repurchase agreements in a rising rate environment. Each Eurodollar contract covers a specific three month period, but we typically have many contracts in place at any point in time — usually covering several years in the aggregate. We have not elected to designate our derivative holdings for hedge accounting treatment under the Financial Accounting Standards Board, (the “FASB”), Accounting Standards Codification, (“ASC”), Topic 815, Derivatives and Hedging. Changes in fair value of these instruments are presented in a separate line item in our Statements of Operations and not included in interest expense. As such, for financial reporting purposes, interest expense and cost of funds are not impacted by the fluctuation in value of the Eurodollar futures contracts. In the future, we may use other derivative instruments to hedge our interest expense and elect to designate our derivative holdings for hedge accounting treatment.

For the purpose of computing economic net interest income and ratios relating to cost of funds measures, GAAP interest expense has been adjusted to reflect the realized gains or losses on specific Eurodollar contracts that pertain to each period presented. As of December 31, 2013, we have Eurodollar futures contracts in place through 2018. Since we have taken short positions on these contracts, when interest rates move higher the value of our short position may increase in value. The opposite would be true if interest rates were to decrease. Adjusting our interest expense for the periods presented by the gains on all Eurodollar futures would not accurately reflect our economic interest expense for these periods. For each period presented, we have combined the effects of the Eurodollar positions in place for the respective period with the actual interest expense incurred on repurchase agreements to reflect total expense for the applicable period. Interest expense, including the effect of Eurodollar futures contracts for the period, is referred to as economic interest expense. Net interest income, when calculated to include the effect of Eurodollar futures contracts for the period, is referred to as economic net interest income.

However, under ASC 815, because we have not elected hedging treatment, the gains or losses on all of our Eurodollar futures contracts held during the period are reflected in our statements of operations. This presentation includes gains or losses on all contracts in effect during the reporting period — covering the current period as well as periods in the future.

We believe that economic interest expense and economic net interest income provide meaningful information to consider, in addition to the respective amounts prepared in accordance with GAAP. The non-GAAP measures help us to evaluate our financial position and performance without the effects of certain transactions and GAAP adjustments that are not necessarily indicative of our current investment portfolio or operations. The realized and unrealized gains or losses presented in our Statement of Operations are not necessarily representative of the total interest rate expense that we will ultimately realize. This is because as interest rates move up or down in the future, the gains or losses we ultimately realize, and which will affect our total interest rate expense in future periods, may differ from the unrealized gains or losses recognized as of the reporting date.

Our presentation of the economic value of our hedging strategy has important limitations. First, other market participants may calculate economic interest expense and economic net interest income differently than the we calculate them. Second, while we believe that the calculation of the economic value of our hedging strategy described above helps to present our financial position and performance, it may be of limited usefulness as an analytical tool. Therefore, the economic value of our investment strategy should not be viewed in isolation and is not a substitute for interest expense and net interest income computed in accordance with GAAP.

 

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The tables below present a reconciliation of the adjustments to interest expense shown for each period related to our Eurodollar futures, and the income statement line item, gains (losses) on Eurodollar futures, calculated in accordance with GAAP for the years ended December 31, 2013 and 2012 and for each quarter during 2013 and 2012.

Gains (Losses) on Eurodollar Futures Contracts

 

(in thousands)    Recognized in Income
Statement (GAAP)
    Attributed to Current
Period (Non-GAAP)
    Attributed to Future
Periods (Non-GAAP)
 

Three Months Ended

      

December 31, 2013

   $ 732      $ (42   $ 774   

September 30, 2013

     (2,272     (28     (2,244

June 30, 2013

     6,852        (4     6,856   

March 31, 2013

     (484     (65     (419

December 31, 2012

     (1     (62     61   

September 30, 2012

     (14     (28     14   

June 30, 2012

     (1     (10     9   

March 31, 2012

     (24     (4     (20

Years Ended

      

December 31, 2013

   $ 4,828      $ (139   $ 4,967   

December 31, 2012

     (40     (104     64   

Economic Interest Expense and Economic Net Interest Income

 

(in thousands)           Interest Expense on Repurchase
Agreements
     Net Interest Income  
                   Gains
(Losses) on
Eurodollar
Futures
Contracts

Attributed
to Current
Period (1)
              
     Interest
Income
     GAAP Interest
Expense
       Economic
Interest
Expense (2)
     GAAP
Net Interest
Income
     Economic
Net Interest
Income (3)
 

Three Months Ended

                

December 31, 2013

   $ 2,806       $ 309       $ (42   $ 351       $ 2,497       $ 2,455   

September 30, 2013

     2,551         294         (28     322         2,257         2,229   

June 30, 2013

     2,429         322         (4     326         2,107         2,103   

March 31, 2013

     1,412         201         (65     266         1,211         1,146   

December 31, 2012

     473         94         (62     156         379         317   

September 30, 2012

     697         58         (28     86         639         611   

June 30, 2012

     769         74         (10     84         695         685   

March 31, 2012

     759         51         (4     55         708         704   

Years Ended

                

December 31, 2013

   $ 9,198       $ 1,126       $ (139   $ 1,265       $ 8,072         7,933   

December 31, 2012

     2,698         277         (104     381         2,421         2,317   

 

(1) Reflects the effect of Eurodollar futures contract hedges for only the period presented
(2) Calculated by subtracting the effect of Eurodollar hedges attributed to the period presented from GAAP interest expense.
(3) Calculated by adding the effect of Eurodollar hedges attributed to the period presented to GAAP net interest income

Net Interest Income

During the year ended December 31, 2013, we generated $8.1 million of net interest income, consisting of $9.2 million of interest income from RMBS assets offset by $1.1 million of interest expense on repurchase

 

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liabilities. For the comparable period ended December 31, 2012, we generated $2.4 million of net interest income, consisting of $2.7 million of interest income from RMBS assets offset by $0.3 million of interest expense on repurchase liabilities. The increases in interest income and interest expense for the year ended December 31, 2013 primarily reflects the deployment of our IPO proceeds into the RMBS portfolio on a leveraged basis.

On an economic basis, our interest expense on repurchase liabilities for the years ended December 31, 2013 and 2012 was $1.3 million and $0.4 million, respectively, resulting in $7.9 million and $2.3 million of economic net interest income, respectively.

The tables below provide information on our portfolio average balances, interest income, yield on assets, average repurchase agreement balances, interest expense, cost of funds, net interest income and net interest spread for each quarter in 2013 and 2012 and for the years ended December 31, 2013 and 2012 on both a GAAP and economic basis.

 

(dollars in thousands)                                                
    Average
RMBS

Securities
Held (1)
    Interest
Income (2)
    Yield on
Average

RMBS
Securities
    Average
Repurchase
Agreements (1)
    Interest Expense     Average Cost of Funds  
            GAAP
Basis
    Economic
Basis (3)
    GAAP
Basis
    Economic
Basis (4)
 

Three Months Ended

               

December 31, 2013

  $ 341,505      $ 2,806        3.29   $ 310,107      $ 309      $ 351        0.40     0.45

September 30, 2013

    335,467        2,551        3.04     305,196        294        322        0.39     0.42

June 30, 2013

    349,704        2,429        2.78     312,591        322        326        0.41     0.42

March 31, 2013

    237,820        1,412        2.38     210,194        201        266        0.38     0.51

December 31, 2012

    91,094        473        2.08     80,256        94        156        0.47     0.78

September 30, 2012

    64,378        697        4.33     53,698        58        86        0.43     0.64

June 30, 2012

    73,559        769        4.18     62,407        74        84        0.47     0.54

March 31, 2012

    70,585        759        4.30     59,157        51        55        0.34     0.37

Years Ended

               

December 31, 2013

  $ 316,124      $ 9,198        2.91   $ 284,522      $ 1,126      $ 1,265        0.40     0.44

December 31, 2012

    74,904        2,698        3.60     63,880        277        381        0.43     0.60

 

(dollars in thousands)    Net Interest Income      Net Interest Spread  
     GAAP
Basis
     Economic
Basis (3)
     GAAP
Basis
    Economic
Basis (5)
 

Three Months Ended

          

December 31, 2013

   $ 2,497       $ 2,455         2.89     2.84

September 30, 2013

     2,257         2,229         2.65     2.62

June 30, 2013

     2,107         2,103         2.37     2.36

March 31, 2013

     1,211         1,146         2.00     1.87

December 31, 2012

     379         317         1.61     1.30

September 30, 2012

     639         611         3.90     3.69

June 30, 2012

     695         685         3.71     3.64

March 31, 2012

     708         704         3.96     3.93

Years Ended

          

December 31, 2013

   $ 8,072       $ 7,933         2.51     2.47

December 31, 2012

     2,421         2,317         3.17     3.00

 

(1) Portfolio yields and costs of borrowings presented in the tables above and the tables on pages 66 and 67 are calculated based on the average balances of the underlying investment portfolio/repurchase agreement balances and are annualized for the quarterly periods presented. Average balances for quarterly periods are calculated using two data points, the beginning and ending balances. Average balances for the year to date periods are calculated as the average of the average quarterly periods.

 

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(2) Interest income presented in the table above includes only interest earned on our RMBS investments and excludes interest earned on cash balances, and excludes the impact of discounts or premiums on RMBS investments, as discounts or premiums are not amortized under the fair value option. Interest income and net portfolio interest income may not agree with the information presented in the statements of operations.
(3) Economic interest expense and economic net interest income presented in the table above and the tables on page 50 includes the effect of our Eurodollar futures contract hedges for only the periods presented.
(4) Represents interest cost of our borrowings and effect on Eurodollar futures contracts hedges attributed to the period related to hedging activities Divided by Average RMBS Held.
(5) Economic Net Interest Spread is calculated by subtracting Average Economic Cost of Funds from Yield on Average RMBS Securities.

Interest Income and Average Asset Yield

Our interest income for the years ended December 31, 2013 and 2012 was $9.2 million and $2.7 million, respectively. We had average RMBS holdings of $316.1 million and $74.9 million for the years ended December 31, 2013 and 2012, respectively. The yield on our portfolio was 2.91% and 3.60% for the years ended December 31, 2013 and 2012, respectively. For the year ended December 31, 2013 as compared to the year ended December 31, 2012, there was a $6.5 million increase in interest income due to a $241.2 million increase in average RMBS, partially offset by a 69 basis point decrease in the yield on average RMBS for the year ended December 31, 2013 when compared to the year ended December 31, 2012. The increase in average RMBS during the year ended December 31, 2013 reflects the deployment of the proceeds of our initial public offering. The table below presents the average portfolio size, income and yields of our respective sub-portfolios, consisting of structured RMBS and pass-through RMBS (“PT RMBS”).

 

(dollars in thousands)   Average RMBS Held     Interest Income     Realized Yield on Average
RMBS
 
    PT RMBS     Structured
RMBS
    Total     PT
RMBS
    Structured
RMBS
    Total     PT
RMBS
    Structured
RMBS
    Total  

Three Months Ended,

                 

December 31, 2013

  $ 318,996      $ 22,509      $ 341,505      $ 2,726      $ 80      $ 2,806        3.42     1.42     3.29

September 30, 2013

    314,096        21,371        335,467        2,412        139        2,551        3.07     2.60     3.04

June 30, 2013

    326,977        22,727        349,704        2,514        (85     2,429        3.08     (1.51 )%      2.78

March 31, 2013

    223,191        14,629        237,820        1,415        (3     1,412        2.54     (0.06 )%      2.38

December 31, 2012

    84,617        6,477        91,094        597        (124     473        2.82     (7.66 )%      2.08

September 30, 2012

    56,519        7,859        64,378        410        287        697        2.90     14.59     4.33

June 30, 2012

    65,320        8,239        73,559        593        176        769        3.63     8.56     4.18

March 31, 2012

    61,936        8,649        70,585        530        229        759        3.43     10.56     4.30

Years Ended,

                 

December 31, 2013

  $ 295,815      $ 20,309      $ 316,124      $ 9,067      $ 131      $ 9,198        3.06     0.65     2.91

December 31, 2012

    67,098        7,806        74,904        2,130        568        2,698        3.17     7.27     3.60

Interest Expense and the Cost of Funds

We had average outstanding repurchase agreements of $284.5 million and $63.9 million and total interest expense of $1.1 million and $0.3 million for the years ended December 31, 2013 and 2012, respectively. Our average cost of funds was 0.40% and 0.43% for years ended December 31, 2013 and 2012, respectively. There was a 3 basis point decrease in the average cost of funds and a $220.6 million increase in average outstanding repurchase agreements during the year ended December 31, 2013 as compared to the year ended December 31, 2012. The increase in average outstanding repurchase agreements reflects the deployment of the proceeds of our initial public offering on a leveraged basis.

Our economic interest expense was $1.3 million and $0.4 million for the years ended December 31, 2013 and 2012, respectively. There was a 16 basis point decrease in the average economic cost of funds to 0.44% for the year ended December 31, 2013 from 0.60% for the previous year.

 

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Since all of our repurchase agreements are short-term, changes in market rates directly affect our interest expense. Our average cost of funds calculated on a GAAP basis was 23 basis points above average one-month LIBOR and 4 basis points above average six-month LIBOR for the quarter ended December 31, 2013. Our average economic cost of funds was 28 basis points above average one-month LIBOR and 9 basis points above average six-month LIBOR for the quarter ended December 31, 2013. The average term to maturity of the outstanding repurchase agreements was 15 days at both December 31, 2013 and 2012.

The tables below presents the average repurchase agreements outstanding, interest expense and average cost of funds, and average one-month and six-month LIBOR rates for each quarter in 2013 and 2012 and for the years ended December 31, 2013 and 2012 on both a GAAP and economic basis.

 

(dollars in thousands)    Average
Balance of

Repurchase
Agreements
     Interest Expense      Average Cost of Funds  
        GAAP
Basis
     Economic
Basis
     GAAP
Basis
    Economic
Basis
 

Three Months Ended

             

December 31, 2013

   $ 310,107       $ 309       $ 351         0.40     0.45

September 30, 2013

     305,196         294         322         0.39     0.42

June 30, 2013

     312,591         322         326         0.41     0.42

March 31, 2013

     210,194         201         266         0.38     0.51

December 31, 2012

     80,256         94         156         0.47     0.78

September 30, 2012

     53,698         58         86         0.43     0.64

June 30, 2012

     62,407         74         84         0.47     0.54

March 31, 2012

     59,157         51         55         0.34     0.37

Years Ended

             

December 31, 2013

   $ 284,522       $ 1,126       $ 1,265         0.40     0.44

December 31, 2012

     63,880         277         381         0.43     0.60

 

    Average LIBOR     Average GAAP Cost of
Funds Relative to Average
    Average Economic Cost
of Funds Relative to Average
 
    One-Month     Six-Month     One-Month
LIBOR
    Six-Month
LIBOR
    One-Month
LIBOR
    Six-Month
LIBOR
 

Three Months Ended,

           

December 31, 2013

    0.17     0.36     0.23     0.04     0.28     0.09

September 30, 2013

    0.19     0.40     0.20     (0.01 )%      0.23     0.02

June 30, 2013

    0.20     0.43     0.21     (0.02 )%      0.22     (0.01 )% 

March 31, 2013

    0.21     0.48     0.17     (0.10 )%      0.30     0.03

December 31, 2012

    0.22     0.59     0.25     (0.12 )%      0.56     0.19

September 30, 2012

    0.23     0.70     0.20     (0.27 )%      0.41     (0.06 )% 

June 30, 2012

    0.24     0.74     0.23     (0.27 )%      0.30     (0.20 )% 

March 31, 2012

    0.26     0.76     0.08     (0.42 )%      0.11     (0.39 )% 

Years Ended

           

December 31, 2013

    0.19     0.42     0.21     (0.02 )%      0.25     0.02

December 31, 2012

    0.24     0.70     0.19     (0.27 )%      0.36     (0.10 )% 

Gains or Losses

Owing to the increased size of the RMBS portfolio and material increases in interest rates in 2013, realized and unrealized losses on our RMBS portfolio and gains in our Eurodollar futures contracts were both material

 

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and significantly larger than those experienced in 2012. The table below presents our gains or losses for the years ended December 31, 2013 and 2012.

 

(in thousands)    2013     2012     Change  

Realized losses on sales of RMBS

   $ (1,198   $ (308   $ (890

Unrealized losses on RMBS

     (10,733     (806     (9,927

Total losses on RMBS

     (11,931     (1,114     (10,817

Gains (losses) on Eurodollar futures

     4,828        (40     4,868   

During the years ended December 31, 2013 and 2012, we received proceeds of $409.0 million and $129.1 million, respectively, from the sales of RMBS. We do not expect to sell assets on a frequent basis, but may from time to time sell existing assets to acquire new assets, which our management believes might have higher risk-adjusted returns or to manage our balance sheet as part of our asset/liability management strategy.

In May and again in June of 2013, the Federal Reserve hinted to the markets that it would begin to taper its quantitative easing program, possibly as soon as Fall 2013. The quantitative easing program involves the purchase of $40 billion Agency RMBS and $45 billion US Treasury securities per month by the Federal Reserve. The US Treasury and Agency RMBS markets reacted strongly to this news and interest rates rose by approximately 100 basis points from early May levels in the case of the 10 year US Treasury note.

With the release of improving economic data during the remainder of the year, interest rates continued to rise, with the yield on the 10 year US Treasury reaching 3.03% at December 31, 2013. In December 2013, the Federal Reserve announced that it would start to taper its bond-buying program by $10 billion a month beginning in January 2014. On January 29, 2014, the U.S. Federal Reserve announced additional $5 billion reductions to its monthly purchase of both Agency RMBS and Treasury bonds to take effect in February 2014.

This market activity initially had an adverse effect on our pass-through portfolio since the prices of RMBS assets generally move in an inverse relationship to interest rates. Conversely, our interest only structured securities rose in price as the market anticipated slower prepayment rates as a result of higher mortgage rates. The table below presents historical interest rate data for each quarter end during 2013 and 2012.

 

     10 Year
Treasury
Rate (1)
    15 Year
Fixed-Rate
Mortgage
Rate (2)
    30 Year
Fixed-Rate
Mortgage
Rate (2)
 

December 31, 2013

     3.03     3.48     4.46

September 30, 2013

     2.62     3.52     4.49

June 30, 2013

     2.48     3.17     4.07

March 31, 2013

     1.85     2.76     3.57

December 31, 2012

     1.76     2.66     3.35

September 30, 2012

     1.64     2.78     3.47

June 30, 2012

     1.66     2.95     3.68

March 31, 2012

     2.22     3.20     3.95

 

(1) Historical 10 Year Treasury Rates are obtained from quoted end of day prices on the CBOE.
(2) Historical 30 Year and 15 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage Rates are obtained from Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

 

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Expenses

Total operating expenses were $1.7 million and $0.7 million for the years ended December 31, 2013 and 2012, respectively. The table below provides a breakdown of operating expenses for the years ended December 31, 2013 and 2012.

 

(in thousands)    2013      2012      Change  

Management fees

   $ 664       $ 249       $ 415   

Directors fees and liability insurance

     290         —           290   

Legal fees

     85         —           85   

Other professional fees

     335         178         157   

Other direct REIT operating expenses

     168         200         (32

Other expenses

     126         106         20   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Total expenses

   $ 1,668       $ 733       $ 935   
  

 

 

    

 

 

    

 

 

 

Under the terms of a management agreement that was in effect during all of 2012 and through the completion of our initial public offering, we paid Bimini a monthly management fee equal to 1/12 of 1.50% per annum of our Stockholders’ Equity (as defined in the management agreement). In addition, we paid Bimini a monthly fee of $7,200, which represented an allocation of overhead expenses for items that included, but were not limited to, occupancy costs, insurance and administrative expenses. These expenses were allocated based on the ratio of our assets and Bimini’s consolidated assets. At the completion of the IPO, we entered into a management agreement with Bimini Advisors, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bimini, which provides for an initial term through February 20, 2016 with automatic one-year extensions and is subject to certain termination rights. Under the terms of the new management agreement, overhead costs will not be allocated to us until our Equity, as defined in the management agreement, equals or exceeds $100 million for the first time.

Financial Condition:

Mortgage-Backed Securities

As of December 31, 2013, our RMBS portfolio consisted of $351.2 million of Agency RMBS at fair value and had a weighted average coupon on assets of 3.77%. During the year ended December 31, 2013, we received principal repayments of $30.8 million compared to $9.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2012. The average prepayment speeds for the quarters ended December 31, 2013 and 2012 were 9.9% and 28.6%, respectively.

The following table presents the constant prepayment rate (“CPR”) experienced on our structured and PT RMBS sub-portfolios, on an annualized basis, for the quarterly periods presented. CPR is a method of expressing the prepayment rate for a mortgage pool that assumes that a constant fraction of the remaining principal is prepaid each month or year. Specifically, the CPR in the chart below represents the three month prepayment rate of the securities in the respective asset category. Assets that were not owned for the entire quarter have been excluded from the calculation. The exclusion of certain assets during periods of high trading activity can create a very high, and often volatile, reliance on a small sample of underlying loans.

 

Three Months Ended,

   PT RMBS
Portfolio (%)
     Structured
RMBS
Portfolio (%)
     Total
Portfolio (%)
 

December 31, 2013

     5.3         17.9         9.9   

September 30, 2013

     6.5         28.2         12.6   

June 30, 2013

     6.5         29.8         16.3   

March 31, 2013

     9.2         33.0         20.0   

December 31, 2012

     1.1         42.3         28.6   

September 30, 2012

     4.2         38.7         25.0   

June 30, 2012

     0.2         41.4         38.7   

March 31, 2012

     11.0         31.2         23.8   

 

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The following tables summarize certain characteristics of our PT RMBS and structured RMBS mortgage related securities as of December 31, 2013 and 2012:

 

(in thousands)                                                

Asset Category

  Fair
Value
    Percentage
of Entire
Portfolio
    Weighted
Average

Coupon
    Weighted
Average
Maturity
in
Months
    Longest
Maturity
    Weighted
Average
Coupon
Reset in
Months
    Weighted
Average
Lifetime
Cap
    Weighted
Average
Periodic
Cap
 

December 31, 2013

         

Adjustable Rate RMBS

  $ 5,334        1.5     3.92     247        1-Sep-35        3.77        10.13     2.00

Fixed Rate RMBS

    245,523        69.9     4.05     323        1-Dec-43        NA        NA        NA   

Hybrid Adjustable Rate RMBS

    76,118        21.7     2.56     350        1-Aug-43        109.6        7.56     2.00

Total Mortgage-backed Pass-through

    326,975        93.1     3.70     328        1-Dec-43        102.67        7.72     2.00

Interest-Only Securities

    19,206        5.5     4.39     261        25-Nov-40        NA        NA        NA   

Inverse Interest-Only Securities

    5,042        1.4     5.92     317        15-Dec-40        NA        6.08     NA   

Total Structured RMBS

    24,248        6.9     4.71     272        15-Dec-40        NA        NA        NA   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

         

Total Mortgage Assets

  $ 351,223        100.0     3.77     324        1-Dec-43        NA        NA        NA   

December 31, 2012

           

Adjustable Rate RMBS

  $ 6,531        5.7     4.20     258        1-Sep-35        3.46        10.04     2.00

Fixed Rate RMBS

    43,589        37.8     3.24     181        1-Dec-40        NA        NA        NA   

Hybrid Adjustable Rate RMBS

    59,485        51.5     2.69     357        1-Nov-42        100.51        7.69     2.00

Total Mortgage-backed Pass-through

    109,605        95.0     3.00     281        1-Nov-42        90.91        7.93     2.00

Interest-Only Securities

    2,884        2.5     3.52     151        25-Dec-39        NA        NA        NA   

Inverse Interest-Only Securities

    2,891        2.5     6.13     309        25-Nov-40        NA        6.34     NA   

Total Structured RMBS

    5,775        5.0     4.83     230        25-Nov-40        NA        NA        NA   
 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

         

Total Mortgage Assets

  $ 115,380        100.0     3.09     278        1-Nov-42        NA        NA        NA   

 

(in thousands)    December 31, 2013     December 31, 2012  

Agency

   Fair Value      Percentage of
Entire Portfolio
    Fair Value      Percentage of
Entire Portfolio
 

Fannie Mae

   $ 211,063         60.09   $ 113,235         98.14

Freddie Mac

     121,842         34.69     2,145         1.86

Ginnie Mae

     18,318         5.22     —           —     

Total Portfolio

   $ 351,223         100.00   $ 115,380         100.00

 

    December 31,
2013
    December 31,
2012
 

Weighted Average Pass Through Purchase Price

  $ 105.60      $ 105.65   

Weighted Average Structured Purchase Price

  $ 12.11      $ 9.91   

Weighted Average Pass Through Current Price

  $ 102.83      $ 105.81   

Weighted Average Structured Current Price

  $ 14.59      $ 7.84   

Effective Duration (1)

    4.188        1.209   

 

(1) Effective duration of 4.188 indicates that an interest rate increase of 1.0% would be expected to cause a 4.188% decrease in the value of the RMBS in our investment portfolio at December 31, 2013. An effective duration of 1.209 indicates that an interest rate increase of 1.0% would be expected to cause a 1.209% decrease in the value of the RMBS in our investment portfolio at December 31, 2012. These figures include the structured securities in the portfolio.

 

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The following table presents a summary of portfolio assets acquired during the years ended December 31, 2013 and 2012.

 

(in thousands)    2013     2012  
     Total Cost      Average
Price
     Weighted
Average
Yield
    Total Cost      Average
Price
     Weighted
Average
Yield
 

Pass-through RMBS

   $ 642,905         104.95         2.40   $ 193,968         105.12         1.53

Structured RMBS

     44,679         15.44         1.69     5,110         7.62         11.95

Our portfolio of PT RMBS is typically comprised of adjustable-rate RMBS, fixed-rate RMBS and hybrid adjustable-rate RMBS. We generally seek to acquire low duration assets that offer high levels of protection from mortgage prepayments provided they are reasonably priced by the market. Although the duration of an individual asset can change as a result of changes in interest rates, we strive to maintain a hedged PT RMBS portfolio with an effective duration of less than 2.0. The stated contractual final maturity of the mortgage loans underlying our portfolio of PT RMBS generally ranges up to 30 years. However, the effect of prepayments of the underlying mortgage loans tends to shorten the resulting cash flows from our investments substantially. Prepayments occur for various reasons, including refinancing of underlying mortgages and loan payoffs in connection with home sales.

The duration of our IO and IIO portfolios will vary greatly depending on the structural features of the securities. While prepayment activity will always affect the cash flows associated with the securities, the interest only nature of IO’s may cause their durations to become extremely negative when prepayments are high, and less negative when prepayments are low. Prepayments affect the durations of IIOs similarly, but the floating rate nature of the coupon of IIOs (which is inversely related to the level of one month LIBOR) cause their price movements — and model duration — to be affected by changes in both prepayments and one month LIBOR — both current and anticipated levels. As a result, the duration of IIO securities will also vary greatly.

Prepayments on the loans underlying our RMBS can alter the timing of the cash flows from the underlying loans to us. As a result, we gauge the interest rate sensitivity of its assets by measuring their effective duration. While modified duration measures the price sensitivity of a bond to movements in interest rates, effective duration captures both the movement in interest rates and the fact that cash flows to a mortgage related security are altered when interest rates move. Accordingly, when the contract interest rate on a mortgage loan is substantially above prevailing interest rates in the market, the effective duration of securities collateralized by such loans can be quite low because of expected prepayments.

We face the risk that the market value of our PT RMBS assets will increase or decrease at different rates than that of our structured RMBS or liabilities, including our hedging instruments. Accordingly, we assess our interest rate risk by estimating the duration of our assets and the duration of our liabilities. We generally calculate duration using various third party models. However, empirical results and various third party models may produce different duration numbers for the same securities.

 

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The following sensitivity analysis shows the estimated impact on the fair value of our interest rate-sensitive investments and hedge positions as of December 31, 2013, assuming rates instantaneously fall 100 basis points (“bps”), rise 100 bps and rise 200 bps, adjusted to reflect the impact of convexity, which is the measure of the sensitivity of our hedge positions and Agency RMBS’ effective duration to movements in interest rates.

 

(in thousands)    Fair
Value
     $ Change in Fair Value     % Change in Fair Value  
        -100BPS     +100BPS     +200BPS     -100BPS     +100BPS     +200BPS  

RMBS Portfolio

               

Adjustable Rate RMBS

   $ 5,334       $ 11      $ (42   $ (83     0.20     (0.78 )%      (1.56 )% 

Hybrid Adjustable Rate RMBS

     76,118         3,659        (4,955     (10,074     4.81     (6.51 )%      (13.23 )% 

Fixed Rate RMBS

     245,523         10,407        (15,550     (31,347     4.24     (6.33 )%      (12.77 )% 

Interest-Only RMBS

     19,206         (5,598     3,217        4,078        (29.15 )%      16.75     21.23

Inverse Interest-Only RMBS

     5,042         263        (486     (1,263     5.22     (9.64 )%      (25.05 )% 
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total RMBS Portfolio

   $ 351,223       $ 8,742      $ (17,816   $ (38,689     2.49     (5.07 )%      (11.02 )% 
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

       

 

(in thousands)    Notional      $ Change in Fair Value      % Change in Fair Value  
     Amount (1)      -100BPS     +100BPS      +200BPS      -100BPS     +100BPS     +200BPS  

Repurchase Agreement Hedges

                 

Eurodollar Futures Contracts

   $ 4,375,000       $ (8,599   $ 10,938       $ 21,875         (0.80 )%      1.02     2.04

 

(1) Represents the total cumulative contract/notional amount of Eurodollar futures contracts outstanding.

In addition to changes in interest rates, other factors impact the fair value of our interest rate-sensitive investments, such as the shape of the yield curve, market expectations as to future interest rate changes and other market conditions. Accordingly, in the event of changes in actual interest rates, the change in the fair value of our assets would likely differ from that shown above and such difference might be material and adverse to our stockholders.

Repurchase Agreements

As of December 31, 2013, we had established borrowing facilities in the repurchase agreement market with twelve counterparties which we believe provide borrowing capacity in excess of our needs. None of these lenders are affiliated with us. As of December 31, 2013, we had funding in place with nine of the twelve counterparties. These borrowings are secured by our RMBS and bear interest rates that are based on a spread to LIBOR.

As of December 31, 2013, we had obligations outstanding under the repurchase agreements of approximately $318.6 million with a net weighted average borrowing cost of 0.39%. The remaining maturity of our outstanding repurchase agreements obligations ranged from 3 to 70 days, with a weighted average remaining maturity of 15 days. Securing the repurchase agreement obligations as of December 31, 2013 are RMBS with an estimated fair value, including accrued interest, of approximately $337.0 million and a weighted average maturity of 328 months. Through February 21, 2014, we have been able to maintain our repurchase facilities with comparable terms to those that existed at December 31, 2013 with maturities through May 13, 2014.

 

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The table below presents information about our period end and average repurchase agreement obligations for each quarter in 2013 and 2012.

 

(dollars in thousands)    Ending
Balance of
Repurchase
Agreements
     Average
Balance of
Repurchase
Agreements
     Difference Between Ending
Repurchase Agreements and
Average Repurchase Agreements
 

Three Months Ended

             Amount              Percent      
           

December 31, 2013

   $ 318,557       $ 310,107       $ 8,450         2.72

September 30, 2013

     301,657         305,196         (3,539      (1.16 )% 

June 30, 2013

     308,735         312,591         (3,856      (1.23 )% 

March 31, 2013

     316,446         210,194         106,252         50.55 %(a) 

December 31, 2012

     103,941         80,256         23,685         29.51 %(b) 

September 30, 2012

     56,571         53,698         2,873         5.35

June 30, 2012

     50,825         62,407         (11,582      (18.56 )%(c) 

March 31, 2012

     73,988         59,157         14,831         25.07 %(d) 

 

(a) The higher ending balance relative to the average balance during the quarter ended March 31, 2013 reflects the deployment of the proceeds of our IPO. During the quarter ended March 31, 2013, our investment in PT RMBS increased $227.2 million.
(b) The higher ending balance relative to the average balance reflects a shift in the portfolio allocation towards PT RMBS that our funds through the repo market. During the quarter ended December 31, 2012, our investment in PT RMBS increased $50.0 million.
(c) The lower ending balance relative to the average balance reflects a shift in the portfolio allocation towards Structured RMBS that were not funded through the repo market. During the quarter ended June 30, 2012, our investment in PT RMBS decreased $23.8 million.
(d) The higher ending balance relative to the average balance reflects a shift in the portfolio allocation towards assets that our funds through the repo market. During the quarter ended March 31, 2012, our investment in PT RMBS increased $30.6 million.

Liquidity and Capital Resources

Liquidity is our ability to turn non-cash assets into cash, purchase additional investments, repay principal and interest on borrowings, fund overhead, fulfill margin calls and pay dividends. Our principal immediate sources of liquidity include cash balances, unencumbered assets and borrowings under repurchase agreements. Our borrowing capacity will vary over time as the market value of our interest earning assets varies. Our balance sheet also generates liquidity on an on-going basis through payments of principal and interest we receive on our RMBS portfolio. Management believes that we currently have sufficient liquidity and capital resources available for (a) the acquisition of additional investments consistent with the size and nature of our existing RMBS portfolio, (b) the repayments on borrowings and (c) the payment of dividends to the extent required for our continued qualification as a REIT.

Because our PT RMBS portfolio consists entirely of government and agency securities, we do not anticipate having difficulty converting our assets to cash should our liquidity needs ever exceed our immediately available sources of cash. Our structured RMBS portfolio also consists entirely of governmental agency securities, although they typically do not trade with comparable bid / ask spreads as PT RMBS. However, we anticipate that we would be able to liquidate such securities readily, even in distressed markets, although we would likely do so at prices below where such securities could be sold in a more stable market. To enhance our liquidity even further, we may pledge a portion of our structured RMBS as part of a repurchase agreement funding but retain the cash in lieu of acquiring additional assets. In this way we can, at a modest cost, retain higher levels of cash on hand and decrease the likelihood we will have to sell assets in a distressed market in order to raise cash.

Our master repurchase agreements have no stated expiration, but can be terminated at any time at our option or at the option of the counterparty. However, once a definitive repurchase agreement under a master repurchase agreement has been entered into, it generally may not be terminated by either party. A negotiated termination can occur, but may involve a fee to be paid by the party seeking to terminate the repurchase agreement transaction.

Under our repurchase agreement funding arrangements, we are required to post margin at the initiation of the borrowing. The margin posted represents the haircut, which is a percentage of the market value of the

 

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collateral pledged. To the extent the market value of the asset collateralizing the financing transaction declines, the market value of our posted margin will be insufficient and we will be required to post additional collateral. Conversely, if the market value of the asset pledged increases in value, we would be over collateralized and we would be entitled to have excess margin returned to us by the counterparty. Our lenders typically value our pledged securities daily to ensure the adequacy of our margin and make margin calls as needed, as do we. Typically, but not always, the parties agree to a minimum threshold amount for margin calls so as to avoid the need for nuisance margin calls on a daily basis. At December 31, 2013, the weighted average haircut our repurchase agreement counterparties required us to hold was approximately 5.50% of the estimated fair value of the underlying collateral.

As discussed earlier, we invest a portion of our capital in structured Agency RMBS. We do not fund the purchase of these investments in the repurchase market but instead purchase directly, thus reducing — but not eliminating — our reliance on access to repurchase agreement funding. The leverage inherent in structured securities replaces the leverage obtained by acquiring PT securities and funding them in the repurchase market. This structured RMBS strategy has been a core element of our overall investment strategy since inception. However, we have and may continue to pledge a portion of our structured RMBS in order to raise our cash levels, but will not pledge these securities in order to acquire additional assets.

The following table summarizes the effect on our liquidity and cash flows from contractual obligations for repurchase agreements and interest expense on repurchase agreements.

 

(in thousands)    Obligations Maturing  
     Within
One Year
     One to
Three Years
     Three to
Five Years
     More than
Five Years
     Total  

Repurchase agreements

   $ 318,557       $ —         $ —         $ —         $ 318,557   

Interest expense on repurchase agreements (1)

     139         —           —           —           139   

Totals

   $ 318,696       $ —         $ —         $ —         $ 318,696   

 

(1) Interest expense on repurchase agreements is based on current interest rates as of December 31, 2013 and the remaining term of the liabilities existing at that date.

In future periods, we expect to continue to finance our activities in a manner that is consistent with our current operations via repurchase agreements. As of December 31, 2013, we had cash and cash equivalents of $8.2 million. We generated cash flows of $38.9 million from principal and interest payments on our RMBS and had average repurchase agreements outstanding of $284.5 million during the year ended December 31, 2013.

Stockholders’ Equity

On February 14, 2013, our Board of Directors authorized and we declared a stock dividend whereby 5.37 shares of common stock were issued for each share of common stock then outstanding. The 827,555 shares distributed pursuant to the dividend were issued to Bimini on February 20, 2013, immediately prior to our initial public offering. For the year ended December 31, 2012, the 981,665 shares, which includes the 154,110 shares of common stock outstanding at December 31, 2012 and the 827,555 shares distributed as a stock dividend, is used for our earnings per share computations, as Bimini was the sole stockholder during that entire period.

On February 20, 2013, we completed an initial public offering of our common stock, issuing 2,360,000 shares of common stock at a price of $15.00 per share. The gross proceeds we received on this sale were $35.4 million.

In January 2014, we completed a public offering of 2,070,000 shares of our common stock (including 270,000 shares sold pursuant to the full exercise of the overallotment option granted to the underwriters which closed on January 29, 2014) for net proceeds of approximately $24.2 million after deducting underwriters’ discounts and commissions and offering expenses.

 

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Outlook

Regulatory Developments with Respect to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the Dodd-Frank Act

In response to the credit market disruption and the deteriorating financial conditions of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Congress and the U.S. Treasury undertook a series of actions that culminated with putting Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in conservatorship in September 2008. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (“FHFA”) now operates Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as conservator, in an effort to stabilize the entities. The FHFA also noted that during the conservatorship period, it would work to enact new regulations for minimum capital standards, prudent safety and soundness standards and portfolio limits of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Although the U.S. Government has committed significant resources to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, Agency RMBS guaranteed by either Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac are not backed by the full faith and credit of the United States. Moreover, the Secretary of the U.S. Treasury noted that the guarantee structure of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac requires examination and that changes in the structures of the entities were necessary to reduce risk to the financial system. Such changes may involve an explicit U.S. Government backing of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Agency RMBS or the express elimination of any implied U.S. Government guarantee and, therefore, creation of credit risk with respect to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Agency RMBS. Additionally, on February 11, 2011, the U.S. Treasury issued a white paper titled Reforming America’s Housing Finance Market that lays out, among other things, proposals to limit or potentially wind down the role that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac play in the mortgage market.

On October 4, 2012, the FHFA released a white paper entitled Building a New Infrastructure for the Secondary Mortgage Market (the “FHFA White Paper”). This release follows up on the FHFA’s February 21, 2012 Strategic Plan for Enterprise Conservatorships, which set forth three goals for the next phase of the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conservatorships. These three goals are to (i) build a new infrastructure for the secondary mortgage market, (ii) gradually contract Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s presence in the marketplace while simplifying and shrinking their operations, and (iii) maintain foreclosure prevention activities and credit availability for new and refinanced mortgages. The FHFA White Paper proposes a new infrastructure for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that has two basic goals.

The first such goal is to replace the current, outdated infrastructures of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with a common, more efficient infrastructure that aligns the standards and practices of the two entities, beginning with core functions performed by both entities such as issuance, master servicing, bond administration, collateral management and data integration. The second goal is to establish an operating framework for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that is consistent with the progress of housing finance reform and encourages and accommodates the increased participation of private capital in assuming credit risk associated with the secondary mortgage market. The FHFA recognizes that there are a number of impediments to their goals which may or may not be surmountable, such as the absence of any significant secondary mortgage market mechanisms beyond Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae, and that their proposals are in the formative stages. As a result, it is unclear if the proposals will be enacted. If such proposals are enacted, it is unclear how closely what is enacted will resemble the proposals from the FHFA White Paper or what the effects of the enactment will be. As the economy has slowly recovered home prices have increased off the low levels seen in the aftermath of the financial crisis and a significant portion of the shadow inventory of homes that resulted from foreclosures are slowly being worked off. The combination of recovering home prices, attractive financing levels — albeit with still tight lending standards — and decreasing liquidations of home via foreclosures have resulted in an acceleration in refinancing activity.

On June 25, 2013, Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and Mark Warner (D-VA), with Senators Mike Johanns (R-NE), Jon Tester (D-MT), Dean Heller (R-NV), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Jerry Moran (R-KS) and Kay Hagan (D-NC), formally introduced the Housing Finance Reform and Taxpayer Protection Act of 2013 (the “Corker-Warner Bill”) into the U.S. Senate. While the current draft of the Corker-Warner Bill will likely undergo significant changes as it is debated, it is expected to serve as a basis of discussion for congressional efforts to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

 

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As currently drafted, the Corker-Warner Bill has three key provisions:

 

  i. the establishment of the Federal Mortgage Insurance Corporation (the “FMIC”);

 

  ii. the creation of a Mortgage Insurance Fund (the “Fund”); and

 

  iii. the wind-down of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

The FMIC would be a government guarantor modeled after the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (the “FDIC”) in that it would collect insurance premiums and maintain a deposit fund on all outstanding obligations. Every mortgage-backed security issued through the FMIC would have a private investor bearing the first risk of loss and holding at least $0.10 in equity capital for every dollar of risk. This private capital buffer would serve to protect taxpayers from the risk of default on the mortgages underlying securities issued by the FMIC. Thus, the ultimate purpose of the FMIC would be to bring in credit investors to bear the risk of default while providing liquidity, transparency and access to mortgage credit for the housing finance system.

The FHFA would be abolished after the establishment of the FMIC, and all current responsibilities of the FHFA, as well as its resources, would be transferred to the FMIC. In particular, the Corker-Warner Bill specifies that the FMIC would maintain a database of uniform loan-level information on eligible mortgages, develop standard uniform securitization agreements and oversee the common securitization platform currently being developed by the FHFA.

In the event losses due to default on underlying mortgages exceed the first position losses of private credit investors in securities issued by the FMIC, the FMIC would cover such losses out of the Fund. The Corker-Warner Bill specifies that the FMIC would endeavor to attain a reserve balance of 1.25% of the aggregate outstanding principal balance of covered securities within five years of the establishment of the FMIC and 2.50% of such amount within ten years of the establishment of the FMIC. The Fund would be paid with insurance premiums, akin to user fees, paid by private investors with various reporting and transparency requirements.

As currently proposed, the Corker-Warner Bill would revoke the charters of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac upon the establishment of the FMIC. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would wind down as expeditiously as possible while maximizing returns to taxpayers as their assets are sold off.

On March 11, 2014, leading members of the Senate Banking Committee announced an agreement on a housing finance reform proposal that would be based, in large part, on the Corker-Warner Bill. There is no way to know if this proposal will become law or, should it become law, if or how the enacted law will differ from the current proposal. It is unclear how this proposal would impact housing finance, and what impact, if any, it would have on mortgage REITs.

The effect of the actions taken and to be taken by the U.S. Treasury, Congress or FHFA remains uncertain. Given the public reaction to the substantial funds made available to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, future funding for both is likely to face increased scrutiny. New and recently enacted laws, regulations and programs related to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may adversely affect the pricing, supply, liquidity and value of Agency RMBS and otherwise materially harm our business and operations.

 

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The Dodd-Frank Act provides for new regulations on financial institutions and creates new supervisory and advisory bodies, including the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The Dodd-Frank Act tasks many agencies with issuing a variety of new regulations, including rules related to mortgage origination and servicing, securitization and derivatives. Because a significant number of regulations under the Dodd-Frank Act have either not yet been proposed or not yet been adopted in final form, it is not possible for us to predict how the Dodd-Frank Act will impact our business.

Interest Rates

The Federal Reserve has taken a number of steps over the last few years to lower both short and long-term interest rates. In August 2011, the Federal Reserve announced that it expected to maintain the Federal Funds Rate at a low level at least through mid-2013, and on January 25, 2012 it extended that outlook through late 2014. Additionally, on September 21, 2011, the Federal Reserve announced the extension of the maturities of its U.S. Treasury securities portfolio by selling approximately $400 billion in short-term U.S. Treasury securities and purchasing an equivalent amount of longer-term U.S. Treasury securities. This program, known as “Operation Twist,” lasted through December 2012. The goal of Operation Twist was to lower the yields on longer-term U.S. Treasury securities, which the Federal Reserve believed would lower interest rates tied to such yields, such as mortgage rates and interest rates on commercial loans.

In September 2012, the Federal Reserve announced an open-ended program to expand its holdings of long-term securities by purchasing an additional $40 billion of Agency RMBS per month until key economic indicators, such as the unemployment rate, showed signs of improvement. This program, known as “QE3”, when combined with other programs to extend the average maturity of the Federal Reserve’s holdings of securities and reinvest principal payments from the Federal Reserve’s holdings of agency debt and Agency RMBS into Agency RMBS, was expected to increase the Federal Reserve’s holdings of long-term securities by $85 billion each month. The Federal Reserve also announced that it would keep the target range for the Federal Funds Rate between zero and 0.25% through at least mid-2015, which was six months longer than previously expected.

The Federal Reserve provided further guidance to the market in December 2012 by stating that it intended to keep the Federal Funds Rate close to zero while the unemployment rate is above 6.5% and as long as inflation does not rise above 2.5%. In December 2012, the Federal Reserve also announced that it would initially begin buying $45 billion of long-term Treasury bonds each month and noted that such amount may increase in the future. This bond purchase program replaced Operation Twist.

The Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (the “FOMC”) meeting minutes released on April 10, 2013 revealed that the FOMC had begun considering when the Federal Reserve should begin tapering the pace of Agency RMBS purchases set in September 2012. The FOMC meeting minutes released on May 22, 2013 announced that the Federal Reserve was considering beginning to taper such purchase as early as June 2013. In minutes released on June 25, 2013, the FOMC stated that the Federal Reserve would begin to scale back Agency RMBS purchases later in 2013 and that such purchases would cease entirely when the unemployment rate reached 7%. On October 30, 2013, the FOMC announced that it would continue reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of agency debt and Agency RMBS into Agency RMBS and U.S. Treasury securities at the current pace indefinitely. The FOMC believes that these actions should maintain downward pressure on longer-term interest rates, support mortgage markets, and help to make broader financial conditions more accommodative, which in turn should promote a stronger economic recovery and help control the rate of inflation. The October 30, 2013 announcement provided no additional guidance as to when tapering might begin.

Although historically correlated with movements in the Federal Funds Rate, European inter-bank lending rates, specifically LIBOR, are independently affected by the fiscal and budgetary problems of the member countries of the European Union. In recent years, the European Central Bank, International Monetary Fund and member countries have provided emergency funding mechanisms to support members facing the inability to raise new debt at acceptable levels (such as Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain). To the extent this crisis persists or worsens, LIBOR may increase substantially.

 

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Although, long-term interest rates are currently at historically low levels, they are still high relative to short-term interest rates. We believe that the relationship between long and short-term interest rates will remain relatively unchanged so long as the U.S. economic recovery and inflation rates remain tepid. If the economic recovery were to strengthen or inflation rates increase, the Federal Reserve may decide to abandon its current low-interest rate policies and/or increase interest rates. Although an increase in the Federal Funds Rate would most likely result in an increase in LIBOR, other European-specific factors, such as a credit disruption in the European inter-bank credit market, could cause an increase in LIBOR independent of movements in the Federal Funds Rate.

At its December 18, 2013 meeting, the FOMC indicated that it saw improvement in economic activity and labor market conditions. As a result, the FOMC announced that, beginning in January 2014, it would reduce its monthly purchases of Agency RMBS from $40 billion to $35 billion and U.S. Treasury securities from $45 billion to $40 billion. The FOMC further stated that it would continue reinvesting principal payments from its holdings of these securities in Agency RMBS and rolling over maturing Treasury bonds at auction. On January 29, 2014, the FOMC announced additional $5 billion reductions to its monthly purchases of both Agency RMBS and Treasury bonds to take effect in February 2014. The FOMC expects even the lower level of purchases to maintain downward pressure on longer-term interest rates, support mortgage markets and make broader financial conditions more accommodative, which it believes should promote economic recovery and control inflation.

Prepayment Rates, Refinancings and Loan Modification Programs

As a result of the Federal Reserve’s interest rate policy and global economic conditions, prevailing interest rates, especially mortgage interest rates, are at historically low levels. Generally, lower mortgage interest rates leads to increased refinancings and, consequently, prepayments on mortgages and RMBS. In addition to the proposed reforms and/or changes of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac suggested by the U.S. Treasury and the FHFA, Congress has to date introduced three legislative proposals that seek to provide changes to the current housing finance infrastructure. However, as a result of the continuing depressed levels of home prices (due in part to the supply of new and existing homes for sale, plus the “shadow” inventory of homes expected to be on the market as a result of future foreclosures) and the tighter underwriting standards of lenders, refinancing activity has yet to react to prevailing interest rate incentives available to borrowers as market participants expected.

To further stimulate the level of refinancing activity, the Obama administration has instituted programs to assist borrowers struggling with their mortgage payments or unable to refinance. For example, the government has expanded the HARP program, which is a program whereby eligible borrowers who owe more money on their mortgage loans than the value of their homes (commonly known as being “underwater” on a mortgage loan) can receive assistance refinancing their mortgage loans by loosening the eligibility requirements for refinancing. On April 11, 2013, the FHFA extended the HARP program by two years to December 31, 2015. In response to the expanded HARP program, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have announced guidelines for compliance with the expanded program.

Current programs such as the Home Affordable Modification Program and the Principal Reduction Alternative are designed to assist borrowers in modifying their mortgage loans.

Effect on Us

Regulatory developments, movements in interest rates and prepayment rates as well as loan modification programs affect us in many ways, including the following:

Effects on our Assets

A change in or elimination of the guarantee structure of Agency RMBS may increase our costs (if, for example, guarantee fees increase) or require us to change our investment strategy altogether. For example, the

 

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elimination of the guarantee structure of Agency RMBS may cause us to change our investment strategy to focus on non-Agency RMBS, which in turn would require us to significantly increase our monitoring of the credit risks of our investments in addition to interest rate and prepayment risks.

Lower long-term interest rates can affect the value of our Agency RMBS in a number of ways. If prepayment rates are relatively low (due, in part, to the refinancing problems described above), lower long-term interest rates can increase the value of higher-coupon Agency RMBS. This is because investors typically place a premium on assets with yields that are higher than market yields. Although lower long-term interest rates may increase asset values in our portfolio, we may not be able to invest new funds in similarly-yielding assets.

If prepayment levels increase, the value of our Agency RMBS affected by such prepayments may decline. This is because a principal prepayment accelerates the effective term of an Agency RMBS, which would shorten the period during which an investor would receive above-market returns (assuming the yield on the prepaid asset is higher than market yields). Also, prepayment proceeds may not be able to be reinvested in similar-yielding assets. Agency RMBS backed by mortgages with high interest rates are more susceptible to prepayment risk because holders of those mortgages are most likely to refinance to a lower rate. IOs and IIOs, however, may be the types of Agency RMBS most sensitive to increased prepayment rates. Because the holder of an IO or IIO receives no principal payments, the values of IOs and IIOs are entirely dependent on the existence of a principal balance on the underlying mortgages. If the principal balance is eliminated due to prepayment, IOs and IIOs essentially become worthless. Although increased prepayment rates can negatively affect the value of our IOs and IIOs, they have the opposite effect on POs. Because POs act like zero-coupon bonds, meaning they are purchased at a discount to their par value and have an effective interest rate based on the discount and the term of the underlying loan, an increase in prepayment rates would reduce the effective term of our POs and accelerate the yields earned on those assets, which would increase our net income.

Because we base our investment decisions on risk management principles rather than anticipated movements in interest rates, in a volatile interest rate environment we may allocate more capital to structured Agency RMBS with shorter durations, such as short-term fixed and floating rate CMOs. We believe these securities have a lower sensitivity to changes in long-term interest rates than other asset classes. We may always attempt to mitigate our exposure to changes in long-term interest rates by investing in IOs and IIOs, which typically have different sensitivities to changes in long-term interest rates than pass-through Agency RMBS, particularly pass-through Agency RMBS backed by fixed-rate mortgages.

We do not believe our investment portfolio will be materially affected by loan modification programs because Agency RMBS backed by loans that would qualify for such programs (e.g., seriously delinquent loans) will be purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at their par value prior to the implementation of such programs. However, if Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were to modify or end their repurchase programs or if the U.S. Government modified its loan modification programs to modify non-delinquent mortgage loans, our investment portfolio could be negatively impacted.

Effects on our borrowing costs

We leverage our pass-through Agency RMBS portfolio and a portion of our structured Agency RMBS with principal balances through the use of short-term repurchase agreement transactions. The interest rates on our debt are determined by market levels of both the Federal Funds Rate and LIBOR. An increase in the U.S. Federal Funds Rate or LIBOR would increase our borrowing costs, which could affect our interest rate spread if there is no corresponding increase in the interest we earn on our assets. This would be most prevalent with respect to our Agency RMBS backed by fixed rate mortgage loans because the interest rate on a fixed-rate mortgage loan does not change even though market rates may change.

In order to protect our net interest margin against increases in short-term interest rates, we may enter into interest rate swaps, which effectively convert our floating-rate repurchase agreement debt to fixed-rate debt.

 

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Summary

The relatively large spread between short and long-term interest rates has positively affected our net interest margin. However, changes in prepayment rates could negatively affect our net interest margin and the value of our assets. Furthermore, increases in the Federal Funds Rate and LIBOR could significant increase our financing costs, which could lower our net interest margin.

Critical Accounting Policies

Our financial statements are prepared in accordance with GAAP. GAAP requires our management to make some complex and subjective decisions and assessments. Our most critical accounting policies involve decisions and assessments which could significantly affect reported assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses. Management has identified its most critical accounting policies:

Mortgage-Backed Securities

Our investments in Agency RMBS are accounted for under the fair value option. We acquire our Agency RMBS for the purpose of generating long-term returns, and not for the short-term investment of idle capital. Changes in the fair value of securities accounted for under the fair value option are reflected as part of our net income or loss in our statement of operations, as opposed to a component of other comprehensive income in our statement of stockholders’ equity if they were instead reclassified as available-for-sale securities. We elected to account for all of our Agency RMBS under the fair value option in order to reflect changes in the fair value of our Agency RMBS in our statement of operations, which we believe more appropriately reflects the results of our operations for a particular reporting period. GAAP requires the use of a three-level valuation hierarchy to disclose the classification of fair value measurements used for determining the fair value of our Agency RMBS. These levels include:

 

    Level 1 valuations, where the valuation is based on quoted market prices for identical assets or liabilities traded in active markets (which include exchanges and over-the-counter markets with sufficient volume),

 

    Level 2 valuations, where the valuation is based on quoted market prices for similar instruments traded in active markets, quoted prices for identical or similar instruments in markets that are not active and model-based valuation techniques for which all significant assumptions are observable in the market, and

 

    Level 3 valuations, where the valuation is generated from model-based techniques that use significant assumptions not observable in the market, but observable based on Company- specific data. These unobservable assumptions reflect our own estimates for assumptions that market participants would use in pricing the asset or liability. Valuation techniques typically include option pricing models, discounted cash flow models and similar techniques, but may also include the use of market prices of assets or liabilities that are not directly comparable to the subject asset or liability.

Our Agency RMBS are valued using Level 2 valuations, and such valuations currently are determined by our manager based on the average of third-party broker quotes and/or by independent pricing sources when available. Because the price estimates may vary, our manager must make certain judgments and assumptions about the appropriate price to use to calculate the fair values. Alternatively, our Manager could opt to have the value of all of our positions in Agency RMBS determined by either an independent third-party or do so internally.

In managing our portfolio, Bimini Advisors employs the following four-step process at each valuation date to determine the fair value of our Agency RMBS:

 

    First, our Manager obtains fair values from subscription-based independent pricing sources. These prices are used by both our Manager as well as many of our repurchase agreement counterparty on a daily basis to establish margin requirements for our borrowings.

 

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    Second, our Manager requests non-binding quotes from one to four broker-dealers for each of its Agency RMBS in order to validate the values obtained by the pricing service. Our Manager requests these quotes from broker-dealers that actively trade and make markets in the respective asset class for which the quote is requested.

 

    Third, our Manager reviews the values obtained by the pricing source and the broker-dealers for consistency across similar assets.

 

    Finally, if the data from the pricing services and broker-dealers is not homogenous or if the data obtained is inconsistent with our Manager’s market observations, our Manager makes a judgment to determine which price appears the most consistent with observed prices from similar assets and selects that price. To the extent our Manager believes that none of the prices are consistent with observed prices for similar assets, which is typically the case for only an immaterial portion of our portfolio each quarter, our Manager may use a third price that is consistent with observed prices for identical or similar assets. In the case of assets that have quoted prices such as Agency RMBS backed by fixed-rate mortgages, our Manager generally uses the quoted or observed market price. For assets such as Agency RMBS backed by ARMs or structured Agency RMBS, our Manager may determine the price based on the yield or spread that is identical to an observed transaction or a similar asset for which a dealer mark or subscription-based price has been obtained.

Management believes its pricing methodology to be consistent with the definition of fair value described in FASB ASC 820, Fair Value Measurements.

Derivative Financial Instruments

We have entered into Eurodollar futures contracts to manage interest rate risk, facilitate asset/liability strategies and manage other exposures, and we may continue to do so in the future. We have elected to not treat any of our derivative financial instruments as hedges. FASB ASC Topic 815, Derivatives and Hedging, requires that all derivative instruments be carried at fair value. Changes in fair value are recorded in earnings for each period.

Repurchase Agreements

We finance the acquisition of a portion of our Agency RMBS through repurchase transactions under master repurchase agreements. Repurchase transactions are treated as collateralized financing transactions and are carried at their contractual amounts, including accrued interest.

In instances where we acquire Agency RMBS through repurchase agreements with the same counterparty from whom the Agency RMBS were purchased, we account for the purchase commitment and repurchase agreement on a net basis and record a forward commitment to purchase Agency RMBS as a derivative instrument if the transaction does not comply with the criteria in FASB ASC 860, Transfers and Servicing, for gross presentation. If the transaction complies with the criteria for gross presentation, we present the assets and the related financing on a gross basis in our statements of financial condition, and the corresponding interest income and interest expense in our statement of operations. Such forward commitments are recorded at fair value with subsequent changes in fair value recognized in income. Additionally, we record the cash portion of our investment in Agency RMBS as a mortgage related receivable from the counterparty on our balance sheet.

Income Recognition

Since we commenced operations, we have elected to account for all of our Agency RMBS under the fair value option.

All of our Agency RMBS are either pass-through securities or structured Agency RMBS, including CMOs, IOs, IIOs or POs. Income on pass-through securities, POs and CMOs that contain principal balances is based on

 

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the stated interest rate of the security. As a result of accounting for our RMBS under the fair value option, premium or discount present at the date of purchase is not amortized. For IOs, IIOs and CMOs that do not contain principal balances, income is accrued based on the carrying value and the effective yield. The difference between income accrued and the interest received on the security is characterized as a return of investment and serves to reduce the asset’s carrying value. At each reporting date, the effective yield is adjusted prospectively from the reporting period based on the new estimate of prepayments, current interest rates and current asset prices. The new effective yield is calculated based on the carrying value at the end of the previous reporting period, the new prepayment estimates and the contractual terms of the security. Changes in fair value of all of our Agency RMBS during the period are recorded in earnings and reported as unrealized gains (losses) on mortgage-backed securities in the accompanying statements of operations. For IIO securities, effective yield and income recognition calculations also take into account the index value applicable to the security.

Capital Expenditures

At December 31, 2013, we had no material commitments for capital expenditures.

Off-Balance Sheet Arrangements

At December 31, 2013, we did not have any off-balance sheet arrangements.

Dividends

To qualify as a REIT, we must pay annual dividends to our stockholders of at least 90% of our REIT taxable income, determined without regard to the deduction for dividends paid and excluding any net capital gains. We intend to pay regular monthly dividends to our stockholders and have declared the following dividends since the completion of our initial public offering.

 

Declaration Date

   Record Date      Payment Date      Per Share
Amount
     Total  

March 8, 2013

     March 25, 2013         March 27, 2013       $ 0.135       $ 451,125   

April 10, 2013

     April 25, 2013         April 30, 2013         0.135         451,125   

May 9, 2013

     May 28, 2013         May 31, 2013         0.135         451,125   

June 10, 2013

     June 25, 2013         June 28, 2013         0.135         451,125   

July 9, 2013

     July 25, 2013         July 31, 2013         0.135         451,125   

August 12, 2013

     August 26, 2013         August 30, 2013         0.135         451,125   

September 10, 2013

     September 25, 2013         September 30, 2013         0.135         451,125   

October 10, 2013

     October 25, 2013         October 31, 2013         0.135         451,125   

November 12, 2013

     November 25, 2013         November 27, 2013         0.135         451,125   

December 10, 2013

     December 26, 2013         December 30, 2013         0.180         601,500   

January 9, 2014

     January 27, 2014         January 31, 2014         0.180         925,500   

February 11, 2014

     February 25, 2014         February 28, 2014         0.180         974,100   

March 11, 2014

     March 26, 2014         March 31, 2014         0.180         974,100 (1) 

 

(1) Based upon shares of our common stock outstanding on the dividend declaration date. We expect that purchasers of common stock in this offering will be entitled to receive this dividend.

Inflation

Virtually all of our assets and liabilities are interest rate sensitive in nature. As a result, interest rates and other factors influence our performance far more so than does inflation. Changes in interest rates do not necessarily correlate with inflation rates or changes in inflation rates. Our financial statements are prepared in accordance with GAAP and our distributions will be determined by our Board of Directors consistent with our obligation to distribute to our stockholders at least 90% of our REIT taxable income on an annual basis in order to maintain our REIT qualification; in each case, our activities and balance sheet are measured with reference to historical cost and/or fair market value without considering inflation.

 

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Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act of 2012

We are an “emerging growth company” as defined in the JOBS Act. The JOBS Act permits emerging growth companies to take advantage of an extended transition period to comply with new or revised accounting standards applicable to public companies. We have elected to “opt out” of this provision and, as a result, we will be required to comply with new or revised accounting standards as required when they are adopted. The decision to opt out of the extended transition period under the JOBS Act is irrevocable.

 

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BUSINESS

Our Company

Orchid Island Capital, Inc. is a specialty finance company that invests in Agency RMBS. Our investment strategy focuses on, and our portfolio consists of, two categories of Agency RMBS: (i) traditional pass-through Agency RMBS and (ii) structured Agency RMBS, such as CMOs, IOs, IIOs and POs, among other types of structured Agency RMBS.

Our business objective is to provide attractive risk-adjusted total returns to our investors over the long term through a combination of capital appreciation and the payment of regular monthly distributions. We intend to achieve this objective by investing in and strategically allocating capital between the two categories of Agency RMBS described above. We seek to generate income from (i) the net interest margin, which is the spread or difference between the interest income we earn on our assets and the interest cost of our related borrowing and hedging activities, on our leveraged pass-through Agency RMBS portfolio and the leveraged portion of our structured Agency RMBS portfolio, and (ii) the interest income we generate from the unleveraged portion of our structured Agency RMBS portfolio. We intend to fund our pass-through Agency RMBS and certain of our structured Agency RMBS, such as fixed and floating rate tranches of CMOs and POs, through short-term borrowings structured as repurchase agreements. However, we do not intend to employ leverage on the securities in our structured Agency RMBS portfolio that have no principal balance, such as IOs and IIOs. We may pledge a portion of these assets to increase our cash balance, but we do not intend to invest the cash derived from pledging the assets. Otherwise, we do not intend to use leverage in these instances because these securities contain structural leverage.

Pass-through Agency RMBS and structured Agency RMBS typically exhibit materially different sensitivities to movements in interest rates. Declines in the value of one portfolio may be offset by appreciation in the other. The percentage of capital that we allocate to our two Agency RMBS asset categories will vary and will be actively managed in an effort to maintain the level of income generated by the combined portfolios, the stability of that income stream and the stability of the value of the combined portfolios. We believe that this strategy will enhance our liquidity, earnings, book value stability and asset selection opportunities in various interest rate environments.

We were formed by Bimini in August 2010, commenced operations on November 24, 2010 and completed our initial public offering on February 20, 2013. Bimini is currently our largest stockholder. Our Manager is a subsidiary of Bimini. Our Manager is an investment advisor registered with the SEC, with access to Bimini’s experienced RMBS investment team. As of February 28, 2014, our Agency RMBS portfolio had a preliminary estimated fair value of approximately $538.0 million and was comprised of approximately 94.7% pass-through Agency RMBS and 5.3% structured Agency RMBS. As of January 31, 2014, our preliminary estimated net asset value was approximately $69.1 million.

We have been organized and have operated so as to qualify as a REIT under the Code. We will elect to be taxed as a REIT beginning with our 2013 taxable year, upon the filing of our federal income tax return for such year. As a REIT, we generally are not be subject to U.S. federal income tax to the extent that we annually distribute all of our REIT taxable income to our stockholders and continue to qualify as a REIT.

Our Manager

We are externally managed and advised by our Manager, pursuant to the terms of a management agreement. Our Manager is a Maryland limited liability company that is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bimini. Our Manager is responsible for administering our business activities and day-to-day operations, subject to the supervision and oversight of our Board of Directors. Members of Bimini’s and our Manager’s senior management team also serve as our executive officers. We do not have any employees.

 

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Our Investment and Capital Allocation Strategy

Our Investment Strategy

Our business objective is to provide attractive risk-adjusted total returns to our investors over the long term through a combination of capital appreciation and the payment of regular monthly distributions. We intend to achieve this objective by investing in and strategically allocating capital between pass-through Agency RMBS and structured Agency RMBS. We seek to generate income from (i) the net interest margin on our leveraged pass-through Agency RMBS portfolio and the leveraged portion of our structured Agency RMBS portfolio, and (ii) the interest income we generate from the unleveraged portion of our structured Agency RMBS portfolio. We also seek to minimize the volatility of both the net asset value of, and income from, our portfolio through a process which emphasizes capital allocation, asset selection, liquidity and active interest rate risk management.

We fund our pass-through Agency RMBS and certain of our structured Agency RMBS, such as fixed and floating rate tranches of CMOs and POs, through repurchase agreements. However, we do not employ leverage on our structured Agency RMBS that have no principal balance, such as IOs and IIOs. We may pledge a portion of these assets to increase our cash balance, but we do not intend to invest the cash derived from pledging the assets. Otherwise, we do not intend to use leverage in these instances because the securities contain structural leverage. However, we may pledge a portion of these assets simply to increase our cash balance, but will not invest the cash derived from pledging the assets. The structural leverage is derived as follows:

 

    A structured security is defined as a security whose cash flows are derived from the cash flows of one or more underlying securities.

 

    The structured security will only receive a portion of the cash flows from the underlying security. It will either receive a fractional portion of the cash flows from the underlying securities over the life of the underlying security, or it will receive all of the cash flows from the underlying securities, but only for a fraction of the time such securities are producing cash flow.

 

    In the case of our structured Agency RMBS portfolio, the underlying securities in question are Agency RMBS. There are two primary factors that affect the timing and amount of cash flows of Agency RMBS:

 

    movements of interest rates, and

 

    actual or expected prepayments of the underlying loans.

 

    Because a structured security only receives a portion of the cash flows of the underlying security, changes in the cash flows of the underlying security may have a far greater impact on the total cash flows to the structured security. For instance, if we own a security that is only entitled to the interest portion of the cash flows from an underlying pool of amortizing loans, we will only receive such cash flows as long as the underlying loans remain outstanding. If the underlying loans are paid off at a faster rate than was anticipated, the total interest cash flows received will be lower than anticipated. In this instance the total principal cash flows will be unaffected, but if the loans are paid off sooner than anticipated, the total interest cash flows will be reduced. Therefore, while the aggregate principal and interest cash flows of the underlying loans will be materially reduced, the cash flows to the security only entitled to receive the interest portion of such cash flows will be reduced, in percentage terms, to a greater extent.

 

    Since the price of a security is a function of the expected cash flows over the life of such security, the structural leverage is the result of the fact the structured security is likely to experience price movements larger than those experienced by the securities underlying the structured security.

Our investment strategy consists of the following components:

 

    investing in pass-through Agency RMBS and certain structured Agency RMBS, such as fixed and floating rate tranches of CMOs and POs, on a leveraged basis to increase returns on the capital allocated to this portfolio;

 

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    investing in certain structured Agency RMBS, such as IOs and IIOs, on an unleveraged basis in order to (i) increase returns due to the structural leverage contained in such securities, (ii) enhance liquidity due to the fact that these securities will be either be unencumbered or, when encumbered, retain the cash from doing so and (iii) diversify portfolio interest rate risk due to the different interest rate sensitivity these securities have compared to pass-through Agency RMBS;

 

    investing in Agency RMBS in order to minimize credit risk;

 

    investing in assets that will cause us to maintain our exclusion from regulation as an investment company under the Investment Company Act; and

 

    investing in assets that will allow us to qualify and maintain our qualification as a REIT.

Our Manager makes investment decisions based on various factors, including, but not limited to, relative value, expected cash yield, supply and demand, costs of hedging, costs of financing, liquidity requirements, expected future interest rate volatility and the overall shape of the U.S. Treasury and interest rate swap yield curves. We do not attribute any particular quantitative significance to any of these factors, and the weight we give to these factors depends on market conditions and economic trends. We believe that this strategy, combined with our Manager’s experienced RMBS investment team, enables us to provide attractive long-term returns to our stockholders.

Capital Allocation Strategy

The percentage of capital invested in our two asset categories varies and is managed in an effort to maintain the level of income generated by the combined portfolios, the stability of that income stream and the stability of the value of the combined portfolios. Typically, pass-through Agency RMBS and structured Agency RMBS exhibit materially different sensitivities to movements in interest rates. Declines in the value of one portfolio may be offset by appreciation in the other, although we cannot assure you that this will be the case. Additionally, our Manager seeks to maintain adequate liquidity as it allocates capital.

We allocate our capital to assist our interest rate risk management efforts. The unleveraged portfolio does not require unencumbered cash or cash equivalents to be maintained in anticipation of possible margin calls. To the extent more capital is deployed in the unleveraged portfolio, our liquidity needs will generally be less.

During periods of rising interest rates, refinancing opportunities available to borrowers typically decrease because borrowers are not able to refinance their current mortgage loans with new mortgage loans at lower interest rates. In such instances, securities that are highly sensitive to refinancing activity, such as IOs and IIOs, typically increase in value. Our capital allocation strategy allows us to redeploy our capital into such securities when and if we believe interest rates will be higher in the future, thereby allowing us to hold securities the value of which we believe is likely to increase as interest rates rise. Also, by being able to re-allocate capital into structured Agency RMBS, such as IOs, during periods of rising interest rates, we may be able to offset the likely decline in the value of our pass-through Agency RMBS, which are negatively impacted by rising interest rates.

We intend to qualify as a REIT and operate in a manner that will not subject us to regulation under the Investment Company Act. In order to rely on the exemption provided by Section 3(c)(5)(C) under the Investment Company Act, we must maintain at least 55% of our assets in qualifying real estate assets. For purposes of this test, structured mortgage-backed securities are non-qualifying real estate assets. Accordingly, while we have no explicit limitation on the amount of our capital that we will deploy to the unleveraged structured Agency RMBS portfolio, we will deploy our capital in such a way so as to maintain our exemption from registration under the Investment Company Act.

 

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Competitive Strengths

We believe that our competitive strengths include:

 

    Ability to Successfully Allocate Capital between Pass-Through and Structured Agency RMBS. We seek to maximize our risk-adjusted returns by investing exclusively in Agency RMBS, which has limited credit risk due to the guarantee of principal and interest payments on such securities by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or Ginnie Mae. Our Manager will allocate capital between pass-through Agency RMBS and structured Agency RMBS. The percentage of our capital we allocate to our two asset categories will vary and will be actively managed in an effort to maintain the level of income generated by the combined portfolios, the stability of that income stream and the stability of the value of the combined portfolios. We believe this strategy will enhance our liquidity, earnings, book value stability and asset selection opportunities in various interest rate environments and provide us with a competitive advantage over other REITs that invest in only pass-through Agency RMBS. This is because, among other reasons, our investment and capital allocation strategies allow us to move capital out of pass-through Agency RMBS and into structured Agency RMBS in a rising interest rate environment, which will protect our portfolio from excess margin calls on our pass-through Agency RMBS portfolio and reduced net interest margins, and allow us to invest in securities, such as IOs, that have historically performed well in a rising interest rate environment.

 

    Experienced RMBS Investment Team. Robert Cauley, our Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Bimini, and Hunter Haas, our Chief Investment Officer, have 20 and 13 years of experience, respectively, in analyzing, trading and investing in Agency RMBS. Additionally, Messrs. Cauley and Haas have over ten and nine years, respectively, of experience managing Bimini, which is a publicly-traded REIT that has invested in Agency RMBS since its inception in 2003. Messrs. Cauley and Haas managed Bimini through the recent housing market collapse and the related adverse effects on the banking and financial system, repositioning Bimini’s portfolio in response to adverse market conditions. We believe this experience has enabled them to recognize portfolio risk in advance, hedge such risk accordingly and manage liquidity and borrowing risks during adverse market conditions. We believe that Messrs. Cauley’s and Haas’ experience provides us with a competitive advantage over other management teams that may not have experience managing a publicly-traded mortgage REIT or managing a business similar to ours during various interest rate and credit cycles, including the recent housing market collapse.

 

    Clean Balance Sheet With an Implemented Investment Strategy. We completed our initial public offering in February 2013 and completed a follow on offering in January 2014, and we intend to build on our existing investment portfolio. As of February 28, 2014, our Agency RMBS portfolio had a preliminary estimated fair value of approximately $538.0 million and was comprised of approximately 94.7% pass-through Agency RMBS and 5.3% structured Agency RMBS. As of January 31, 2014, our preliminary estimated net asset value was approximately $69.1 million. Bimini managed our portfolio from our inception until the closing of our initial public offering utilizing the same investment strategy that our Manager and its experienced RMBS investment team have employed since our initial public offering.

 

    Alignment of Interests. Bimini owns 981,665 shares of our common stock, which represents approximately 18.1% of the aggregate outstanding shares of our common stock. We believe that Bimini’s ownership of our common stock aligns our Manager’s interests with our interests.

 

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Our Portfolio

As of February 28, 2014, our portfolio consisted of Agency RMBS with a preliminary estimated aggregate fair value of approximately $538.0 million and a preliminary estimated weighted average coupon of 4.03%. The following table summarizes our portfolio as of February 28, 2014:

 

Asset Category

  Fair
Value (1)
    Percentage
of Entire
Portfolio
    Weighted
Average
Coupon
    Weighted
Average
Maturity in
Months
    Longest
Maturity
    Weighted
Average
Coupon Reset
in Months
    Weighted
Average
Lifetime
Cap
    Weighted
Average
Periodic
Cap
    Realized
CPR (2)
 

Pass-through Agency RMBS backed by:

                 

Adjustable Rate Mortgages

  $ 5,200       1.0 %     3.95 %     245       9-1-35        2.61        10.13 %     2.00 %     48.73 %

Fixed Rate Mortgages

    427,950       79.5       4.24       311       3-1-44        n/a        n/a        n/a        3.70 %

Hybrid Adjustable Rate Mortgages

    76,352       14.2       2.55       348       8-1-43        107.60        7.56        2.00        3.46 %

Total/Weighted Average Mortgage Pass-through Agency RMBS

  $ 509,502       94.7 %     3.98 %     316       3-1-44        100.90        7.72 %     2.00 %     4.18 %

Structured Agency RMBS:

                 

CMOs

  $ —         —   %     —   %     —         —         —         —         —         —   %

IOs

    21,432       4.0       4.48       270       11-25-40        n/a        n/a        n/a        16.91 %

IIOs

    7,022       1.3       6.08       315       12-15-40        n/a        4.17        n/a        11.65 %

POs

    —         —         —         —         —         —         —         —         —   %

Total/Weighted Average Structured Agency RMBS

    28,454       5.3 %     4.88 %     281       12-15-40        n/a        n/a        n/a        15.63 %

Total/Weighted Average

  $ 537,956       100.0 %     4.03 %     314       3-1-44       n/a        n/a        n/a        7.87 %

 

(1) In thousands.
(2) CPR refers to Constant Prepayment Rate, which is a method of expressing the prepayment rate for a mortgage pool that assumes that a constant fraction of the remaining principal is prepaid each month or year. Specifically, the CPR in the chart above represents the prepayment rate of the securities in the respective asset category for the month of February 2014.

Description of Agency RMBS

Pass-through Agency RMBS

We invest in pass-through securities, which are securities secured by residential real property in which payments of both interest and principal on the securities are generally made monthly. In effect, these securities pass through the monthly payments made by the individual borrowers on the mortgage loans that underlie the securities, net of fees paid to the issuer or guarantor of the securities. Pass-through certificates can be divided into various categories based on the characteristics of the underlying mortgages, such as the term or whether the interest rate is fixed or variable.

The payment of principal and interest on mortgage pass-through securities issued by Ginnie Mae, but not the market value, is guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the federal government. Payment of principal and interest on mortgage pass-through certificates issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but not the market value, is guaranteed by the respective agency issuing the security.

 

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A key feature of most mortgage loans is the ability of the borrower to repay principal earlier than scheduled. This is called a prepayment. Prepayments arise primarily due to sale of the underlying property, refinancing or foreclosure. Prepayments result in a return of principal to pass-through certificate holders. This may result in a lower or higher rate of return upon reinvestment of principal. This is generally referred to as prepayment uncertainty. If a security purchased at a premium prepays at a higher-than-expected rate, then the value of the premium would be eroded at a faster-than-expected rate. Similarly, if a discount mortgage prepays at a lower-than-expected rate, the amortization towards par would be accumulated at a slower-than-expected rate. The possibility of these undesirable effects is sometimes referred to as “prepayment risk.”

In general, declining interest rates tend to increase prepayments, and rising interest rates tend to slow prepayments. Like other fixed-income securities, when interest rates rise, the value of Agency RMBS generally declines. The rate of prepayments on underlying mortgages will affect the price and volatility of Agency RMBS and may shorten or extend the effective maturity of the security beyond what was anticipated at the time of purchase. If interest rates rise, our holdings of Agency RMBS may experience reduced returns if the borrowers of the underlying mortgages pay off their mortgages later than anticipated. This is generally referred to as extension risk.

The mortgage loans underlying pass-through certificates can generally be classified into the following three categories:

 

    Fixed-Rate Mortgages. Fixed-rate mortgages are those where the borrower pays an interest rate that is constant throughout the term of the loan. Traditionally, most fixed-rate mortgages have an original term of 30 years. However, shorter terms (also referred to as final maturity dates) have become common in recent years. Because the interest rate on the loan never changes, even when market interest rates change, over time there can be a divergence between the interest rate on the loan and current market interest rates. This in turn can make fixed-rate mortgages price sensitive to market fluctuations in interest rates. In general, the longer the remaining term on the mortgage loan, the greater the price sensitivity.

 

    ARMs. ARMs are mortgages for which the borrower pays an interest rate that varies over the term of the loan. The interest rate usually resets based on market interest rates, although the adjustment of such an interest rate may be subject to certain limitations. Traditionally, interest rate resets occur at regular set intervals (for example, once per year). We will refer to such ARMs as “traditional” ARMs. Because the interest rates on ARMs fluctuate based on market conditions, ARMs tend to have interest rates that do not deviate from current market rates by a large amount. This in turn can mean that ARMs have less price sensitivity to interest rates.

 

    Hybrid Adjustable-Rate Mortgages. Hybrid ARMs have a fixed-rate for the first few years of the loan, often three, five, seven or ten years, and thereafter reset periodically like a traditional ARM. Effectively, such mortgages are hybrids, combining the features of a pure fixed-rate mortgage and a traditional ARM. Hybrid ARMs have price sensitivity to interest rates similar to that of a fixed-rate mortgage during the period when the interest rate is fixed and similar to that of an ARM when the interest rate is in its periodic reset stage. However, because many hybrid ARMs are structured with a relatively short initial time span during which the interest rate is fixed, even during that segment of its existence, the price sensitivity may be high.

Structured Agency RMBS

We also invest in structured Agency RMBS, which include CMOs, IOs, IIOs and POs. The payment of principal and interest, as appropriate, on structured Agency RMBS issued by Ginnie Mae, but not the market value, is guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the federal government. Payment of principal and interest, as appropriate, on structured Agency RMBS issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, but not the market value, is guaranteed by the respective agency issuing the security. The types of structured Agency RMBS in which we invest are described below.

 

   

CMOs. CMOs are a type of RMBS the principal and interest of which are paid, in most cases, on a monthly basis. CMOs may be collateralized by whole mortgage loans, but are more typically collateralized by portfolios of mortgage pass-through securities issued directly by or under the auspices

 

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of Ginnie Mae, Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. CMOs are structured into multiple classes, with each class bearing a different stated maturity. Monthly payments of principal, including prepayments, are first returned to investors holding the shortest maturity class. Investors holding the longer maturity classes receive principal only after the first class has been retired. Generally, fixed-rate mortgages are used to collateralize CMOs. However, the CMO tranches need not all have fixed-rate coupons. Some CMO tranches have floating rate coupons that adjust based on market interest rates, subject to some limitations. Such tranches, often called “CMO floaters,” can have relatively low price sensitivity to interest rates.

 

    IOs. IOs represent the stream of interest payments on a pool of mortgages, either fixed-rate mortgages or hybrid ARMs. Holders of IOs have no claim to any principal payments. The value of IOs depends primarily on two factors, which are prepayments and interest rates. Prepayments on the underlying pool of mortgages reduce the stream of interest payments going forward, hence IOs are highly sensitive to prepayment rates. IOs are also sensitive to changes in interest rates. An increase in interest rates reduces the present value of future interest payments on a pool of mortgages. On the other hand, an increase in interest rates has a tendency to reduce prepayments, which increases the expected absolute amount of future interest payments.

 

    IIOs. IIOs represent the stream of interest payments on a pool of mortgages, either fixed-rate mortgages or hybrid ARMs. Holders of IIOs have no claim to any principal payments. The value of IIOs depends primarily on three factors, which are prepayments, LIBOR rates and term interest rates. Prepayments on the underlying pool of mortgages reduce the stream of interest payments, hence IIOs are highly sensitive prepayment rates. The coupon on IIOs is derived from both the coupon interest rate on the underlying pool of mortgages and 30-day LIBOR. IIOs are typically created in conjunction with a floating rate CMO that has a principal balance and which is entitled to receive all of the principal payments on the underlying pool of mortgages. The coupon on the floating rate CMO is also based on 30-day LIBOR. Typically, the coupon on the floating rate CMO and the IIO, when combined, equal the coupon on the pool of underlying mortgages. The coupon on the pool of underlying mortgages typically represents a cap or ceiling on the combined coupons of the floating rate CMO and the IIO. Accordingly, when the value of 30-day LIBOR increases, the coupon of the floating rate CMO will increase and the coupon on the IIO will decrease. When the value of 30-day LIBOR falls, the opposite is true. Accordingly, the value of IIOs are sensitive to the level of 30-day LIBOR and expectations by market participants of future movements in the level of 30-day LIBOR. IIOs are also sensitive to changes in interest rates. An increase in interest rates reduces the present value of future interest payments on a pool of mortgages. On the other hand, an increase in interest rates has a tendency to reduce prepayments, which increases the expected absolute amount of future interest payments.

 

    POs. POs represent the stream of principal payments on a pool of mortgages. Holders of POs have no claim to any interest payments, although the ultimate amount of principal to be received over time is known — it equals the principal balance of the underlying pool of mortgages. What is not known is the timing of the receipt of the principal payments. The value of POs depends primarily on two factors, which are prepayments and interest rates. Prepayments on the underlying pool of mortgages accelerate the stream of principal repayments, hence POs are highly sensitive to the rate at which the mortgages in the pool are prepaid. POs are also sensitive to changes in interest rates. An increase in interest rates reduces the present value of future principal payments on a pool of mortgages. Further, an increase in interest rates also has a tendency to reduce prepayments, which decelerates, or pushes further out in time, the ultimate receipt of the principal payments. The opposite is true when interest rates decline.

Our Financing Strategy

We borrow against our Agency RMBS using short-term repurchase agreements. However, we do not intend to employ leverage on our structured Agency RMBS that have no principal balance, such as IOs and IIOs. If we do pledge such securities, we intend to retain the cash derived and use the cash as an added source of liquidity. We may use other sources of leverage, such as secured or unsecured debt or issuances of preferred stock. We do

 

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not have a policy limiting the amount of leverage we may incur. However, we generally expect that the ratio of our total liabilities compared to our equity, which we refer to as our leverage ratio, will be less than 12 to 1. Our amount of leverage may vary depending on market conditions and other factors that we deem relevant.

We allocate our capital between two sub-portfolios. The pass-through Agency RMBS portfolio will be leveraged generally via repurchase agreement funding. The structured Agency RMBS portfolio generally will not be leveraged. The leverage ratio will be the ratio of the repurchase agreement debt outstanding to the stockholders equity, assuming no other forms of debt are outstanding. The amount of leverage will be a function of the capital allocated to the pass-through Agency RMBS portfolio and the amount of haircuts required by our lenders on our borrowings. When the capital allocation to the pass-through Agency RMBS portfolio is high, the leverage ratio will be high since more capital is being explicitly leveraged and less capital is un-leveraged. If the haircuts required by our lenders on our borrowings are higher, all else being equal, our leverage will be lower since our lenders will lend less against the value of the capital deployed to the pass-through Agency RMBS portfolio. The allocation of capital between the two portfolios will be a function of several factors:

 

    The relative durations of the respective portfolios — We generally seek to have a combined duration at or near zero. If our pass-through securities have a longer duration, we will allocate more capital to the structured security portfolio to achieve a combined duration close to zero.

 

    The relative attractiveness of pass-through securities versus structured securities — To the extent we believe the expected returns of one type of security are higher than the other, we will allocate more capital to the more attractive securities, subject to the caveat that its combined duration remains at or near zero.

 

    Liquidity — We seek to maintain adequate cash and unencumbered securities relative to our repurchase agreement borrowings to ensure we can meet any price or prepayment related margin calls from our lenders. To the extent we feel price or prepayment related margin calls will be higher/lower, we will allocate less/more capital to the pass-through Agency RMBS portfolio. Our pass-through Agency RMBS portfolio likely will be our only source of price or prepayment related margin calls because we generally will not apply leverage to our structured Agency RMBS portfolio. From time to time we may pledge a portion of our structured securities and retain the cash derived so it can be used to enhance our liquidity.

As of February 28, 2014, our preliminary estimated portfolio leverage ratio was approximately 7.3 to 1. As of February 28, 2014 borrowing rates under our repurchase agreements were materially consistent with borrowing rates as of December 31, 2013. As of February 28, 2014, we had entered into master repurchase agreements with 13 counterparties and had funding in place with 11 of these counterparties, as described below.

 

Counterparty

   Balance (1)      Percent of
Total
Borrowings
    Weighted Average
Maturity of
Repurchase
Agreements in Days
 

Citigroup Global Markets, Inc.

   $ 143,915         28.5 %     23   

Cantor Fitzgerald & Co.

     54,903        10.9       17  

South Street Securities, LLC

     48,975        9.7       13  

Morgan Stanley & Co

     38,154        7.6       74  

SunTrust Robinson Humphrey, Inc.

     45,179        9.0       11  

CRT Capital Group, LLC

     37,136         7.4        23   

KGS-Alpha Capital Markets, L.P.

     25,573        5.1       17  

Goldman, Sachs & Co

     23,919        4.7       14  

Mizuho Securities USA, Inc.

     48,414        9.6       37  

ED&F Man Capital Markets, Inc.

     25,079         5.0        17   

Mitsubishi UFJ Securities (USA), Inc.

     12,703         2.5        28   
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

 

 

Total/Weighted Average

   $ 503,950         100.0 %     25  
  

 

 

    

 

 

   

 

(1) In thousands.

 

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During the year ended December 31, 2013, the average balance of our repurchase agreement financing was $284.5 million.

Risk Management

We invest in Agency RMBS to mitigate credit risk. Additionally, our Agency RMBS are backed by a diversified base of mortgage loans to mitigate geographic, loan originator and other types of concentration risks.

Interest Rate Risk Management

We believe that the risk of adverse interest rate movements represents the most significant risk to our portfolio. This risk arises because (i) the interest rate indices used to calculate the interest rates on the mortgages underlying our assets may be different from the interest rate indices used to calculate the interest rates on the related borrowings, and (ii) interest rate movements affecting our borrowings may not be reasonably correlated with interest rate movements affecting our assets. We attempt to mitigate our interest rate risk by using the following techniques:

Agency RMBS Backed by ARMs. We seek to minimize the differences between interest rate indices and interest rate adjustment periods of our Agency RMBS backed by ARMs and related borrowings. At the time of funding, we typically align (i) the underlying interest rate index used to calculate interest rates for our Agency RMBS backed by ARMs and the related borrowings and (ii) the interest rate adjustment periods for our Agency RMBS backed by ARMs and the interest rate adjustment periods for our related borrowings. As our borrowings mature or are renewed, we may adjust the index used to calculate interest expense, the duration of the reset periods and the maturities of our borrowings.

Agency RMBS Backed by Fixed-Rate Mortgages. As interest rates rise, our borrowing costs increase; however, the income on our Agency RMBS backed by fixed-rate mortgages remains unchanged. Subject to qualifying and maintaining our qualification as a REIT, we may seek to limit increases to our borrowing costs through the use of interest rate swap or cap agreements, options, put or call agreements, futures contracts, forward rate agreements or similar financial instruments to effectively convert our floating-rate borrowings into fixed-rate borrowings.

Agency RMBS Backed by Hybrid ARMs. During the fixed-rate period of our Agency RMBS backed by hybrid ARMs, the security is similar to Agency RMBS backed by fixed-rate mortgages. During this period, subject to qualifying and maintaining our qualification as a REIT, we may employ the same hedging strategy that we employ for our Agency RMBS backed by fixed-rate mortgages. Once our Agency RMBS backed by hybrid ARMs convert to floating rate securities, we may employ the same hedging strategy as we employ for our Agency RMBS backed by ARMs.

Additionally, our structured Agency RMBS generally exhibit sensitivities to movements in interest rates different than our pass-through Agency RMBS. To the extent they do so, our structured Agency RMBS may protect us against declines in the market value of our combined portfolio that result from adverse interest rate movements, although we cannot assure you that this will be the case.

Prepayment Risk Management

The risk of mortgage prepayments is another significant risk to our portfolio. When prevailing interest rates fall below the coupon rate of a mortgage, mortgage prepayments are likely to increase. Conversely, when prevailing interest rates increase above the coupon rate of a mortgage, mortgage prepayments are likely to decrease.

When prepayment rates increase, we may not be able to reinvest the money received from prepayments at yields comparable to those of the securities prepaid. Also, some ARMs and hybrid ARMs which back our Agency RMBS may bear initial “teaser” interest rates that are lower than their fully-indexed interest rates. If these mortgages are prepaid during this “teaser” period, we may lose the opportunity to receive interest payments

 

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at the higher, fully-indexed rate over the expected life of the security. Additionally, some of our structured Agency RMBS, such as IOs and IIOs, may be negatively affected by an increase in prepayment rates because their value is wholly contingent on the underlying mortgage loans having an outstanding principal balance.

A decrease in prepayment rates may also have an adverse effect on our portfolio. For example, if we invest in POs, the purchase price of such securities will be based, in part, on an assumed level of prepayments on the underlying mortgage loan. Because the returns on POs decrease the longer it takes the principal payments on the underlying loans to be paid, a decrease in prepayment rates could decrease our returns on these securities.

Prepayment risk also affects our hedging activities. When an Agency RMBS backed by a fixed-rate mortgage or hybrid ARM is acquired with borrowings, we may cap or fix our borrowing costs for a period close to the anticipated average life of the fixed-rate portion of the related

Agency RMBS. If prepayment rates are different than our projections, the term of the related hedging instrument may not match the fixed-rate portion of the security, which could cause us to incur losses.

Because our business may be adversely affected if prepayment rates are different than our projections, we seek to invest in Agency RMBS backed by mortgages with well-documented and predictable prepayment histories. To protect against increases in prepayment rates, we invest in Agency RMBS backed by mortgages that we believe are less likely to be prepaid. For example, we invest in Agency RMBS backed by mortgages (i) with loan balances low enough such that a borrower would likely have little incentive to refinance, (ii) extended to borrowers with credit histories weak enough to not be eligible to refinance their mortgage loans, (iii) that are newly originated fixed-rate or hybrid ARMs or (iv) that have interest rates low enough such that a borrower would likely have little incentive to refinance. To protect against decreases in prepayment rates, we may also invest in Agency RMBS backed by mortgages with characteristics opposite to those described above, which would typically be more likely to be refinanced. We may also invest in certain types of structured Agency RMBS as a means of mitigating our portfolio-wide prepayment risks. For example, certain tranches of CMOs are less sensitive to increases in prepayment rates, and we may invest in those tranches as a means of hedging against increases in prepayment rates.

Quantitative and Qualitative Disclosures About Market Risk

We believe the primary risk inherent in our investments is the effect of movements in interest rates, especially with respect to our use of leverage and the uncertainty of principal payment cash flows, which we refer to as prepayment risk. We, therefore, follow a risk management program designed to offset the potential adverse effects resulting from these risks.

Interest Rate Risk

We believe that the risk of adverse interest rate movements represents the most significant risk to our portfolio. This risk arises because (i) the interest rate indices used to calculate the interest rates on the mortgages underlying our assets may be different from the interest rate indices used to calculate the interest rates on the related borrowings, and (ii) interest rate movements affecting our borrowings may not be reasonably correlated with interest rate movements affecting our assets.

Interest Rate Mismatch Risk

We fund a substantial portion of our acquisitions of Agency RMBS backed by ARMs and hybrid ARMs with borrowings that have interest rates based on indices and repricing terms similar to, but of somewhat shorter maturities than, the interest rate indices and repricing terms of the Agency RMBS we are financing. The interest rate indices and repricing terms of our Agency RMBS and our funding sources will be mismatched. Our cost of funds will likely rise or fall more quickly than the yield on assets. During periods of changing interest rates, such

 

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interest rate mismatches could negatively impact our business, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.

Extension Risk

We invest in Agency RMBS backed by fixed-rate and hybrid ARMs. Hybrid ARMs have interest rates that are fixed for the first few years of the loan — typically three, five, seven or ten years — and thereafter their interest rates reset periodically on the same basis as ARMs. We compute the projected weighted average life of our Agency RMBS backed by fixed-rate mortgages and hybrid ARMs based on the market’s prepayment rate assumptions. In general, when an Agency RMBS backed by fixed-rate mortgages or hybrid ARMs is acquired with borrowings, subject to qualifying and maintaining our qualification as a REIT, we may, but are not required to, enter into interest rate swap and cap contracts or forward funding agreements that effectively cap or fix our borrowing costs for a period close to the anticipated average life of the fixed-rate portion of the related Agency RMBS. This strategy is designed to protect us from rising interest rates because the borrowing costs are fixed for the duration of the fixed-rate portion of the related Agency RMBS. However, if prepayment rates decrease as interest rates rise, the life of the fixed-rate portion of the related Agency RMBS could extend beyond the term of the swap agreement or other hedging instrument. Our borrowing costs would no longer be fixed after the end of the hedging instrument, but the income earned on the related Agency RMBS would remain fixed. This situation may also cause the market value of our Agency RMBS to decline with little or no offsetting gain from the related hedging transactions. In extreme situations, we may be forced to sell assets and incur losses to maintain adequate liquidity.

Interest Rate Cap Risk

We invest in Agency RMBS backed by ARMs and hybrid ARMs, which are typically subject to periodic and lifetime interest rate caps and floors. Interest rate caps and floors may limit changes to the Agency RMBS yield. However, our borrowing costs pursuant to our repurchase agreements will not be subject to similar restrictions. As interest rates rise, the interest rate costs on our borrowings could increase without limitation by caps, but the interest-rate yields on the related assets would effectively be limited by caps. The effect of ARM interest rate caps is magnified to the extent we acquire Agency RMBS backed by ARMs and hybrid ARMs whose current coupon is below the fully-indexed coupon. Further, the underlying mortgages may be subject to periodic payment caps that result in some portion of the interest being deferred and added to the principal outstanding, affecting available liquidity needed to pay our financing costs. These factors could lower our net interest income or cause a net loss during periods of rising interest rates.

Effect on Fair Value

The market value of our assets is sensitive to changes in interest rates and may increase or decrease at different rates than the market value of our liabilities, including our hedging instruments. We primarily assess our interest rate risk by estimating the duration of our assets and the duration of our liabilities. Duration essentially measures the market price volatility of financial instruments as interest rates change. We generally calculate duration using various financial models and empirical data, and different models and methodologies can produce different duration numbers for the same securities. If our duration estimates are inaccurate, we could underestimate our interest rate risk.

Prepayment Risk

Risk of mortgage prepayments is another significant risk to our portfolio. When prepayment rates increase, we may not be able to reinvest the money received from prepayments at yields comparable to those of the securities prepaid. Also, some ARMs and hybrid ARMs which back our Agency RMBS may bear initial “teaser” interest rates that are lower than their fully-indexed interest rates. If these mortgages are prepaid during this “teaser” period, we may lose the opportunity to receive interest payments at the higher, fully-indexed rate over the expected life of the security. Additionally, some of our structured Agency RMBS, such as IOs and IIOs, may

 

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be negatively affected by an increase in prepayment rates because their value is wholly contingent on the underlying mortgage loans having an outstanding principal balance.

A decrease in prepayment rates may also have an adverse effect on our portfolio. Also, if we invest in POs, the purchase price of such securities will be based, in part, on an assumed level of prepayments on the underlying mortgage loan. Because the returns on POs decrease the longer it takes the principal payments on the underlying loans to be paid, a decrease in prepayment rates could decrease our returns on these securities.

Prepayment risk also affects our hedging activities. When an Agency RMBS backed by a fixed-rate mortgage or hybrid ARM is acquired with borrowings, subject to qualifying and maintaining our qualification as a REIT, we may cap or fix our borrowing costs for a period close to the anticipated average life of the fixed-rate portion of the related Agency RMBS. If prepayment rates are different than our projections, the term of the related hedging instrument may not match the fixed-rate portion of the security, which could cause us to incur losses.

When prevailing interest rates fall below (rise above) the coupon rate of a mortgage, it becomes more (less) likely to prepay. Our business may be adversely affected if prepayment rates are significantly different than our projections.

Analyzing Interest Rate and Prepayment Risks

The following sensitivity analysis shows the estimated impact on the fair value of our interest rate-sensitive investments as of December 31, 2013, assuming rates instantaneously fall 100 basis points, rise 100 basis points and rise 200 basis points, or BPS (dollars in thousands).

 

          Interest Rates Fall
100 BPS
    Interest Rates Rise
100 BPS
    Interest Rates Rise
200 BPS
 

Agency RMBS backed by ARMs

       

Fair Value

  $ 5,334        

Change in Fair Value

    $ 43     $ (43 )   $ (87 )

Change as a % of Fair Value

      0.81 %     (0.81 )%     (1.62 )%

Agency RMBS backed by fixed-rate mortgages

       

Fair Value

  $ 245,523        

Change in Fair Value

    $ 14,712     $ (14,712 )   $ (29,424 )

Change as a % of Fair Value

      5.99 %     (5.99 )%     (11.98 )

Agency RMBS backed by hybrid ARMs

       

Fair Value

  $ 76,118        

Change in Fair Value

    $ 4,777     $ (4,777 )   $ (9,555 )

Change as a % of Fair Value

      6.28 %     (6.28 )%     (12.55 )%

Structured RMBS

       

Fair Value

  $ 24,248         

Change in Fair Value

    $ (4,823 )   $ 4,823      $ 9,646  

Change as a % of Fair Value

      (19.89 )%     19.89 %     39.78 %

Portfolio Total

       

Fair Value

  $ 351,223        

Change in Fair Value

    $ 14,710     $ (14,710 )   $ (29,420 )

Change as a % of Fair Value

      4.19 %     (4.19 )%     (8.38 )%

Cash

       

Fair Value

  $ 8,169        

 

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The table below reflects the same analysis presented above but with figures in the columns that indicate the estimated impact of a 100 basis point fall or rise and a 200 basis point rise adjusted to reflect the impact of convexity, which is the measure of the sensitivity of our Agency RMBS’s effective duration to movements in interest rates.

 

          Interest Rates Fall
100 BPS
    Interest Rates Rise
100 BPS
    Interest Rates Rise
200 BPS
 

Agency RMBS backed by ARMs

       

Fair Value

  $ 5,334        

Change in Fair Value

    $ 11     $ (42 )   $ (83 )

Change as a % of Fair Value

      0.20 %     (0.78 )%     (1.56 )%

Agency RMBS backed by fixed-rate mortgages

       

Fair Value

  $ 245,523        

Change in Fair Value

    $ 10,407     $ (15,550 )   $ (31,347 )

Change as a % of Fair Value

      4.24 %     (6.33 )%     (12.77 )%

Agency RMBS backed by hybrid ARMs

       

Fair Value

  $ 76,118        

Change in Fair Value

    $ 3,659     $ (4,955 )   $ (10,074 )

Change as a % of Fair Value

      4.81 %     (6.51 )%     (13.23 )%

Structured RMBS

       

Fair Value

  $ 24,248        

Change in Fair Value

    $ (5,335 )   $ 2,731     $ 2,815  

Change as a % of Fair Value

      (22.00 )%     11.26 %     11.61 %

Portfolio Total

       

Fair Value

  $ 351,223        

Change in Fair Value

    $ 8,742     $ (17,816 )   $ (38,689 )

Change as a % of Fair Value

      2.49 %     (5.07 )%     (11.02 )%

Cash

       

Fair Value

  $ 8,169        

As interest rates change, the change in the fair value of our assets would likely differ from that shown above and such difference might be material and adverse to us. The volatility in the fair value of our assets could increase significantly when interest rates change beyond 100 basis points. In addition to changes in interest rates, other factors impact the fair value of our interest rate-sensitive investments and hedging instruments, if any, such as the shape of the yield curve, the level of 30-day LIBOR, market expectations about future interest rate changes and disruptions in the financial markets.

Our liabilities, consisting primarily of repurchase agreements, are also affected by changes in interest rates. As rates rise, the value of the underlying asset, or the collateral, declines. In certain circumstances, we could be required to post additional collateral in order to maintain the repurchase agreement. We maintain cash and unpledged securities to cover these possible situations. Typically, our cash position is approximately equal to the haircut on our pledged assets, and the balance of our unpledged assets exceeds our cash balance. As an example, if interest rates increased 200 basis points, as shown on the prior table, our collateral as of December 31, 2013 would decline in value by approximately $29.4 million, which would require that we post $29.4 million of additional collateral to meet a margin call. Our cash and unpledged assets are not currently sufficient to cover such a margin call and be required to sell assets to meet such a shortfall.

Liquidity Management Strategy

Because of our use of leverage, we manage liquidity to meet our lenders’ margin calls using the following measures:

 

    Maintaining cash balances or unencumbered assets well in excess of anticipated margin calls; and

 

    Making margin calls on our lenders when we have an excess of collateral pledged against our borrowings.

 

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We also attempt to minimize the number of margin calls we receive by:

 

    deploying capital from our leveraged Agency RMBS portfolio to our unleveraged Agency RMBS portfolio;

 

    investing in Agency RMBS backed by mortgages that we believe are less likely to be prepaid to decrease the risk of excessive margin calls when monthly prepayments are announced. Prepayments are declared, and the market value of the related security declines, before the receipt of the related cash flows. Once monthly prepayment information is available, we typically have a collateral deficiency that generally results in margin calls by lenders; and

 

    obtaining funding arrangements which defer or waive prepayment-related margin requirements in exchange for payments to the lender tied to the dollar amount of the collateral deficiency and a pre-determined interest rate; and

 

    reducing our overall amount of leverage.

Investment Committee and Investment Guidelines

Our Manager has established an investment committee, which consists of Messrs. Cauley and Haas, each of whom are officers of our Manager. From time to time, the investment committee may propose revisions to our investment guidelines, which will be subject to the approval of our Board of Directors. Our Manager’s investment committee meets at least monthly to discuss diversification of our investment portfolio, hedging and financing strategies and compliance with the investment guidelines. At the monthly meetings our Board of Directors receives an investment report and review our investment portfolio and related compliance with the investment guidelines. Our Board of Directors will not review or approve individual investments unless the investment is outside our operating policies or investment guidelines.

Our Board of Directors has approved the following investment guidelines:

 

    no investment shall be made in any non-Agency RMBS;

 

    at the end of each quarterly period, our leverage ratio may not exceed 12 to 1. In the event that our leverage inadvertently exceeds the leverage ratio of 12 to 1 at the end of a quarterly period, we may not utilize additional leverage without prior approval from our Board of Directors until our leverage ratio is below 12 to 1;

 

    no leverage on structured Agency RMBS that have no principal balance, such as IOs and IIOs, because such securities already contain structural leverage. Such assets may be pledged, but the cash derived must be retained for liquidity purposes;

 

    no investment shall be made that would cause us to fail to qualify as a REIT for U.S. federal income tax purposes; and

 

    no investment shall be made that would cause us to register as an investment company under the Investment Company Act.

The investment committee may change these investment guidelines at any time with the approval of our Board of Directors and without any approval from our stockholders.

Repurchase Agreement Trading, Clearing and Administrative Services

We have engaged AVM, L.P. (a securities broker-dealer) to provide us with repurchase agreement trading, clearing and administrative services. AVM, L.P. acts as our clearing agent and adviser in arranging for third parties to enter into repurchase agreements with us, executes and maintains records of our repurchase transactions and assists in managing the margin arrangements between us and our counterparties for each of our repurchase agreements.

 

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Policies With Respect to Certain Other Activities

If our Board of Directors determines that additional funding is required, we may raise such funds through additional offerings of equity or debt securities, the retention of cash flow (subject to the REIT provisions in the Code concerning distribution requirements and the taxability of undistributed REIT taxable income), other funds from debt financing, including repurchase agreements, or a combination of these methods. In the event that our Board of Directors determines to raise additional equity capital, it has the authority, without stockholder approval, to cause us to issue additional common stock or preferred stock in any manner and on such terms and for such consideration as it deems appropriate, at any time.

We have authority to offer our common stock or other equity or debt securities in exchange for property and to repurchase or otherwise reacquire our shares and may engage in such activities in the future.

We may, but do not intend to, make loans to third parties or underwrite securities of other issuers or invest in the securities of other issuers for the purpose of exercising control.

Subject to qualifying and maintaining our qualifications as a REIT, we may, but do not intend to, invest in securities of other REITs, other entities engaged in real estate activities or securities of other issuers, including for the purpose of exercising control over such entities.

Subject to applicable law, our Board of Directors may change any of these policies, as well as our investment guidelines, without prior notice to you or a vote of our stockholders.

Custodian Bank

Citigroup Global Markets, Inc. serves as our custodian bank and is entitled to fees for its services.

Tax Structure

We have been organized and have operated so as to qualify to be taxed as a REIT. We will elect to be taxed as a REIT beginning with our 2013 taxable year upon the filing of our federal income tax return for such year. Our qualification as a REIT, and the maintenance of such qualification, depends upon our ability to meet, on a continuing basis, various complex requirements under the Code relating to, among other things, the sources of our gross income, the composition and values of our assets, our distribution levels and the concentration of ownership of our capital stock. We believe that we have been organized and have operated in conformity with the requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT under the Code, and we intend to continue to operate in a manner that will enable us to meet the requirements for qualification and taxation as a REIT. In connection with this offering, we will receive an opinion from Hunton & Williams LLP to the effect that we qualified to be taxed as a REIT under the Code for our taxable year ended December 31, 2013, and that our organization and current and proposed method of operation will enable us to continue to qualify for taxation as a REIT for our taxable year ending December 31, 2014 and thereafter.

As a REIT, we generally will not be subject to U.S. federal income tax on the REIT taxable income that we currently distribute to our stockholders, but taxable income generated by any TRS that we may form or acquire will be subject to federal, state and local income tax. Under the Code, REITs are subject to numerous organizational and operational requirements, including a requirement that they distribute annually at least 90% of their REIT taxable income, determined without regard to the deduction for dividends paid and excluding any net capital gains. If we fail to qualify as a REIT in any calendar year and do not qualify for certain statutory relief provisions, our income would be subject to U.S. federal income tax, and we would likely be precluded from qualifying for treatment as a REIT until the fifth calendar year following the year in which we failed to qualify. Even if we qualify as a REIT, we may still be subject to certain federal, state and local taxes on our income and assets and to U.S. federal income and excise taxes on our undistributed income.

 

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Investment Company Act Exemption

We operate our business so that we are exempt from registration under the Investment Company Act. We rely on the exemption provided by Section 3(c)(5)(C) of the Investment Company Act, which applies to companies in the business of purchasing or otherwise acquiring mortgages and other liens on, and interests in, real estate. In order to rely on the exemption provided by Section 3(c)(5)(C), we must maintain at least 55% of our assets in qualifying real estate assets. For the purposes of this test, structured Agency RMBS are non-qualifying real estate assets. We monitor our portfolio periodically and prior to each investment to confirm that we continue to qualify for the exemption. To qualify for the exemption, we make investments so that at least 55% of the assets we own on an unconsolidated basis consist of qualifying mortgages and other liens on and interests in real estate, which we refer to as qualifying real estate assets, and so that at least 80% of the assets we own on an unconsolidated basis consist of real estate-related assets, including our qualifying real estate assets.

We treat whole-pool pass-through Agency RMBS as qualifying real estate assets based on no-action letters issued by the Staff of the SEC. In August 2011, the SEC, through a concept release, requested comments on interpretations of Section 3(c)(5)(C). To the extent that the SEC or its staff publishes new or different guidance with respect to these matters, we may fail to qualify for this exemption. Our Manager intends to manage our pass-through Agency RMBS portfolio such that we will have sufficient whole-pool pass-through Agency RMBS to ensure we maintain our exemption from registration under the Investment Company Act. At present, we generally do not expect that our investments in structured Agency RMBS will constitute qualifying real estate assets but will constitute real estate-related assets for purposes of the Investment Company Act.

Competition

When we invest in Agency RMBS and other investment assets, we compete with a variety of institutional investors, including other REITs, insurance companies, mutual funds, pension funds, investment banking firms, banks and other financial institutions that invest in the same types of assets. Many of these investors have greater financial resources and access to lower costs of capital than we do. The existence of these competitive entities, as well as the possibility of additional entities forming in the future, may increase the competition for the acquisition of mortgage related securities, resulting in higher prices and lower yields on assets.

Employees

We have no employees.

Properties

We do not own any properties. Our offices are located at 3305 Flamingo Drive, Vero Beach, Florida 32963 and the telephone number of our offices is (772) 231-1400. Bimini owns these offices. This property is adequate for our business as currently conducted.

Legal Proceedings

There are no legal proceedings pending or threatened involving Orchid Island Capital, Inc. As of the date of this prospectus, Bimini, which owns 981,665 shares of our common stock, or approximately 18.1% of the aggregate outstanding shares of our common stock and is the parent company of our Manager, is currently a party to certain legal proceedings. For a description of these legal proceedings, see “Part I. Item 3. Legal Proceedings” in Bimini’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012 and “Part II, Item 1. Legal Proceedings” in Bimini’s Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q for the quarters ended March 31, 2013, June 30, 2013 and September 30, 2013. These descriptions are not a part of this prospectus. Adverse results in any of these proceedings could negatively impact our business and operations. See “Risk Factors — Risks Related to Our Business — Legal proceedings involving Bimini and certain of its subsidiaries have adversely affected Bimini, may materially adversely affect Bimini’s and our Manager’s ability to effectively manage our business and could materially adversely affect our reputation, business, operations, financial condition and results of operations and our ability to pay distributions to our stockholders.”

 

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OUR MANAGER AND THE MANAGEMENT AGREEMENT

Our Manager

We are currently managed by Bimini Advisors, LLC, or our Manager, pursuant to the terms of a management agreement. Our Manager is a Maryland limited liability company and wholly-owned subsidiary of Bimini. Our Manager is responsible for administering our business activities and day-to-day operations, subject to the supervision and oversight of our Board of Directors. Members of Bimini’s and our Manager’s senior management team also serve as our executive officers. We have no employees.

Officers of Our Manager

Biographical information for each of the executive officers of our Manager is set forth below.

Robert E. Cauley, CFA has been our Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer since August 2010 and is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of our Manager. Mr. Cauley co-founded Bimini Capital in 2003 and has served as its Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of Directors since April 2008. He served as Vice-Chairman, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Investment Officer prior to April 2008. Prior to co-founding Bimini Capital in 2003, Mr. Cauley was a vice-president and portfolio manager at Federated Investors in Pittsburgh from 1996 to 2003. Prior to 1996, Mr. Cauley was a member of the ABS/MBS structuring desk at Lehman Brothers from 1994 to 1996 and a credit analyst at Barclays Bank, PLC from 1992 to 1994. Mr. Cauley is a CPA (inactive status) and served in the United States Marine Corps for four years. We believe that Mr. Cauley should continue to serve as a member of our Board of Directors due to his experience managing a publicly-traded REIT and his career as a RMBS portfolio manager.

G. Hunter Haas, IV has been our Chief Financial Officer and Chief Investment Officer since August 2010 and has served on our Board of Directors since August 2010. Mr. Haas is the President, Chief Investment Officer and Chief Financial Officer of our Manager. Mr. Haas has been the President, Chief Investment Officer and Chief Financial Officer of Bimini since April 2008. Prior to assuming those roles with Bimini, he was a Senior Vice President and Head of Research and Trading. Mr. Haas joined Bimini in May 2004 as Vice President and Head of Mortgage Research. He has over 12 years of experience in this industry and has managed trading operations for the portfolio since his arrival in May 2004. Mr. Haas has approximately eight years of experience as a member of senior management of a public REIT. Prior to joining Bimini, Mr. Haas worked in the mortgage industry as a member of a team responsible for hedging a servicing portfolio at both National City Mortgage and Homeside Lending, Inc. We believe that Mr. Haas should continue to serve as a member of our Board of Directors due to his experience as the Chief Financial Officer of a publicly-traded REIT and his experience in the mortgage industry.

Our Management Agreement

We are currently a party to a management agreement whereby our Manager is responsible for administering our business activities and day-to-day operations, subject to the supervision and oversight of our Board of Directors. The material terms of the management agreement are described below.

Management Services

The management agreement requires our Manager to oversee our business affairs in conformity with our operating policies and investment guidelines. Our Manager at all times is subject to the supervision and direction of our Board of Directors, the terms and conditions of the management agreement and such further limitations or parameters as may be imposed from time to time by our Board of Directors. Our Manager is responsible for (i) the selection, purchase and sale of assets in our investment portfolio, (ii) our financing and hedging activities

 

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and (iii) providing us with investment advisory services. Our Manager is responsible for our day-to-day operations and performs such services and activities relating to our assets and operations as may be appropriate, including, without limitation:

 

    forming and maintaining our investment committee, which has the following responsibilities: (i) proposing the investment guidelines to the Board of Directors, (ii) reviewing the Company’s investment portfolio for compliance with the investment guidelines on a monthly basis, (iii) reviewing the investment guidelines adopted by our Board of Directors on a periodic basis, (iv) reviewing the diversification of the Company’s investment portfolio and the Company’s hedging and financing strategies on a monthly basis, and (v) generally being responsible for conducting or overseeing the provision of the management services;

 

    serving as our consultant with respect to the periodic review of our investments, borrowings and operations and other policies and recommendations with respect thereto, including, without limitation, the investment guidelines, in each case subject to the approval of our Board of Directors;

 

    serving as our consultant with respect to the selection, purchase, monitoring and disposition of our investments;

 

    serving as our consultant with respect to decisions regarding any financings, hedging activities or borrowings undertaken by us, including (i) assisting us in developing criteria for debt and equity financing that is specifically tailored to our investment objectives and (ii) advising us with respect to obtaining appropriate financing for our investments;

 

    purchasing and financing investments on our behalf;

 

    providing us with portfolio management;

 

    engaging and supervising, on our behalf and at our expense, independent contractors that provide real estate, investment banking, securities brokerage, insurance, legal, accounting, transfer agent, registrar and such other services as may be required relating to our operations or investments (or potential investments);

 

    providing executive and administrative personnel, office space and office services required in rendering services to us;

 

    performing and supervising the performance of administrative functions necessary to our management as may be agreed upon by our Manager and our Board of Directors, including, without limitation, the collection of revenues and the payment of our debts and obligations and maintenance of appropriate information technology services to perform such administrative functions;

 

    communicating on behalf of the Company with the holders of any equity or debt securities of the Company as required to satisfy the reporting and other requirements of any governmental bodies or agencies or trading exchanges or markets and to maintain effective relations with such holders, including website maintenance, logo design, analyst presentations, investor conferences and annual meeting arrangements;

 

    counseling us in connection with policy decisions to be made by our Board of Directors;

 

    evaluating and recommending to us hedging strategies and engaging in hedging activities on our behalf, consistent with our qualification and maintenance of our qualification as a REIT and with the investment guidelines;

 

    counseling us regarding our qualification and maintenance of qualification as a REIT and monitoring compliance with the various REIT qualification tests and other rules set out in the Code and U.S. Treasury regulations promulgated thereunder;

 

    counseling us regarding the maintenance of our exemption from status as an investment company under the Investment Company Act and monitoring compliance with the requirements for maintaining such exemption;

 

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    furnishing reports and statistical and economic research to us regarding the activities and services performed for us by our Manager;

 

    investing and re-investing any of our cash and securities (including in short-term investments, payment of fees, costs and expenses, or payments of dividends or distributions to stockholders and partners of the Company) and advising us as to our capital structure and capital-raising activities;

 

    causing us to retain qualified accountants and legal counsel, as applicable, to (i) assist in developing appropriate accounting procedures, compliance procedures and testing systems with respect to financial reporting obligations and compliance with the provisions of the Code applicable to REITs and, if applicable, TRSs and (ii) conduct quarterly compliance reviews with respect thereto;

 

    causing us to qualify to do business in all jurisdictions in which such qualification is required and to obtain and maintain all appropriate licenses;

 

    assisting us in complying with all applicable regulatory requirements in respect of our business activities, including preparing or causing to be prepared all financial statements required under applicable regulations and contractual undertakings and all reports and documents, if any, required under the Exchange Act, the Securities Act or by the NYSE MKT or other stock exchange requirements as applicable;

 

    taking all necessary actions to enable us to make required tax filings and reports, including soliciting stockholders for required information to the extent necessary under the Code and U.S. Treasury regulations applicable to REITs;

 

    handling and resolving all claims, disputes or controversies (including all litigation, arbitration, settlement or other proceedings or negotiations) in which the Company may be involved or to which the Company may be subject arising out of the Company’s day-to-day operations;

 

    arranging marketing materials, advertising, industry group activities (such as conference participations and industry organization memberships) and other promotional efforts designed to promote our business;

 

    using commercially reasonable efforts to cause expenses incurred by or on our behalf to be commercially reasonable or commercially customary and within any budgeted parameters or expense guidelines set by our Board of Directors from time to time;

 

    performing such other services as may be required from time to time for the management and other activities relating to our assets and business as our Board of Directors shall reasonably request or our Manager shall deem appropriate under the particular circumstances; and

 

    using commercially reasonable efforts to cause us to comply with all applicable laws.

Pursuant to the terms of the management agreement, our Manager provides us with a management team, including our Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Investment Officer or similar positions, along with appropriate support personnel to provide the management services provided by our Manager to us as described in the management agreement. None of the officers or employees of our Manager are exclusively dedicated to us.

Our Manager has not assumed any responsibility other than to render the services called for under the management agreement in good faith and is not responsible for any action of our Board of Directors in following or declining to follow its advice or recommendations, including as set forth in the investment guidelines. Our Manager and its affiliates, and the directors, officers, employees, members and stockholders of our Manager and its affiliates, are not liable to us, our Board of Directors or our stockholders for any acts or omissions performed in accordance with and pursuant to the management agreement, except by reason of acts constituting bad faith, willful misconduct, gross negligence or reckless disregard of their respective duties under the management

 

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agreement. We have agreed to indemnify our Manager and its affiliates, and the directors, officers, employees, members and stockholders of our Manager and its affiliates, with respect to all expenses, losses, damages, liabilities, demands, charges and claims in respect of or arising from any acts or omissions of our Manager, its affiliates, and the directors, officers, employees, members and stockholders of our Manager and its affiliates, performed in good faith under the management agreement and not constituting bad faith, willful misconduct, gross negligence or reckless disregard of their respective duties. Our Manager has agreed to indemnify us and our directors, officers and stockholders with respect to all expenses, losses, damages, liabilities, demands, charges and claims in respect of or arising from any acts or omissions of our Manager constituting bad faith, willful misconduct, gross negligence or reckless disregard of its duties under the management agreement. Our Manager will maintain reasonable and customary “errors and omissions” and other customary insurance coverage upon the completion of this offering.

Our Manager is required to refrain from any action that, in its sole judgment made in good faith, (i) is not in compliance with the investment guidelines, (ii) would adversely affect our qualification as a REIT under the Code or our status as an entity exempted from investment company status under the Investment Company Act, or (iii) would violate any law, rule or regulation of any governmental body or agency having jurisdiction over us or of any exchange on which our securities are listed or that would otherwise not be permitted by our charter or bylaws. If our Manager is ordered to take any action by our Board of Directors, our Manager will notify our Board of Directors if it is our Manager’s judgment that such action would adversely affect such status or violate any such law, rule or regulation or our charter or bylaws. Our Manager, its directors, officers or members will not be liable to us, our Board of Directors or our stockholders for any act or omission by our Manager, its directors, officers or stockholders except as provided in the management agreement.

Term and Termination

The management agreement has an initial term expiring on February 20, 2016. The management agreement will be automatically renewed for one-year terms thereafter unless termina