Arbor's CEO Discusses Q1 2011 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Arbor Realty Trust Inc. ( ABR)

Q1 2011 Earnings Call

May 6, 2011 10:00 AM ET

Executives

Ivan Kaufman –President and CEO

Paul Elenio – Chief Financial Officer

Analysts

Bruce Harting – Barclays Capital

Presentation

Operator

Good day, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to the First Quarter 2011 Arbor Realty Trust Incorporated Earnings Conference Call. My name is Francine, and I’m your operator for today. At this time, all participants are in listen-only mode. Later, we will conduct the question-and-answer session. (Operator Instructions)

We’ll now like to turn the presentation over to your host for today’s call, Mr. Paul Elenio. Sir, you may proceed.

Paul Elenio

Okay. Thank you, Francine. Good morning, everyone. Welcome to the quarterly earnings call for Arbor Realty Trust. This morning we’ll discuss the result for the quarter ended March 31, 2011. With me on the call today, is Ivan Kaufman, our President and Chief Executive Officer.

Before we begin, I need to inform you that statements made in this earnings call may be deemed forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties, including information about possible or assumed future results of our business, financial condition, liquidity, results of operations, plans and objectives.

These statements are based on our beliefs, assumptions and expectations of our future performance, taking into account, the information currently available to us. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from Arbor’s expectations in these forward-looking statements are detailed in our SEC reports.

Listeners are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of today. Arbor undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after today, or the occurrences of unanticipated events.

I’ll now turn the call over to Arbor’s President and CEO, Ivan Kaufman.

Ivan Kaufman

Thank you, Paul, and thanks everybody for joining us on today’s call. Before Paul takes you through the financial results for quarter, I would like to reflect on some of our recent accomplishments and talk about our operating philosophy and outlook for remainder of 2011.

As we mentioned on last -- on our last earnings call, we’re extremely pleased with our success in having positioned the firm to return to our core lending business, which we actively began over the last few quarters.

We’re also pleased to be operating on platform with greater flexibility and no short-term recourse debt all while preserved in a substantial amount of our equity value.

As previously disclosed in the fourth quarter, we originate two loans totaling $15.7 million and in first quarter, we originated five loans totaling $30.3 million with weighted average unleveraged yield approximately 6.5% in addition to us garnering a 25% equity pick up on one of these loans. Four of these loans are financed through our low cost CDO vehicles, which will increase returns on these investments.

We also have a growing pipeline and will continue to deploy our capital into the opportunities that provide us with the best (inaudible) award returns and look to maximize returns on these investments utilization of our CDO financings and other potential lending sources when available.

We’ll remain discipline – elective and are pleased with the opportunities we are seeing in this recovering market to build up our portfolio with high-quality assets and an increase our core earnings overtime.

Additionally, we’ve had great success in monetizing our non-performing and unencumbered assets, which contributed greatly to our cash position and as of today, is approximately $85 million not included, approximately $20 million of cash posted against our swaps and approximately $20 million of cash available for reinvestments in our CDOs.

We also have around $115 million of net unencumbered assets, which combined with our cash on hand and cash posted against our swaps gives us approximately $220 million of value. This in addition to approximately $235 million of value between the equity in our CDO vehicles and our real estate owned assets for a total value of approximately $455 million.

We also have been effective in managing our CDOs receiving all of the cash distributions from these vehicles to date. We have three vehicles in place with the ability to invest in new assets until January 2012 in one of our CDOs. While there can be no assurances our CDO vehicles will continue to cash flow in the future. We will remain focused on optimizing and utilizing these facilities when possible.

As I mentioned earlier, we will also continue to wind the value of our legacy assets selectively lend and investment opportunities and utilize our CDO financings to enhance our returns and increase our core earnings overtime.

As we’ve discussed in the past, we’ve been very successful in repurchasing our debt of deep discounts recording significant gains and retaining substantial amount of our equity value. In the first quarter, we repurchased $1.5 million our CDO debt for $600,000 recording a gain of proximately $900,000 and we will continue to evaluate the repurchase of our CDO debt going forward based on availability, pricing and liquidity.

Additionally, as we mentioned in our last call, we started to acquire some of the real estate securing our loans and investment taking Type 2 properties in the first quarter totaling $132 million subject to $55 million our first lien debt. Paul will take you through the accounting related to these transactions in a moment.

I will stress that we believe we’ve experienced our – we have an experienced asset management team with a diverse set of skills including the ability to develop and operate real estate, which gives us the ability to better manage and enhance the value of our investments.

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