This compression has caused NLY to increase leverage to generate enough dividends. Its leverage is still not as high as their biggest competitor (market cap of $10.73 billion) which is American Capital Agency ( AGNC), which is being sold off after announcing that it sold 50 million common stock shares. The share offering netted $1.58 billion in gross proceeds, which AGNC said it plans to use to acquire more agency securities and for general corporate purposes. Yesterday, shares dropped 3.5% on 10-times-average daily volume to close around $31.71. Here's a similar chart to the NLY chart above. AGNC data by YCharts
With a yield-to-price of 15.8% and its cash dividend payout ratio so low (technically quite comparable to NLY's payout ratio), yield-chasing investors may prefer AGNC, although we can't rule out an unexpected dividend decrease. Both NLY and AGNC don't report earnings until April 29.