AGNC Investment Corp. is an internally managed REIT based in Bethesda, Maryland. The company employs an active management strategy to provide investors with favorable risk-adjusted returns. The company focuses on a combination of agency and non-agency residential mortgage-backed securities and earns income via interest and gains on investments and hedging activities. It is the 2nd largest internally managed residential REIT in the US by market cap.
The company’s goal is to provide risk-adjusted returns on a monthly basis through dividends. The company has paid dividends every quarter since its inception and on a monthly basis since 2014. The distribution can vary depending on income and may include ordinary income, long-term capital gains and return-of-capital, which is important for tax purposes. Investors of record may participate in a direct purchase program and a dividend reinvestment program. Investors may also purchase preferred stock to receive dividends.
The Company uses leverage to invest in mortgage-backed securities. The primary target is agency residential mortgage-backed securities using a collateralized borrowing structure. The collateralized borrowing structure is in the form of repurchase agreements, which guarantees the issuer will repurchase the asset at a later date at a higher price. The higher price is, in effect, an interest on the loan.
The company agency-backed investments and securities are typically guaranteed by government-sponsored agencies like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or Ginny Mae. The non-agency securities include commercial mortgage-backed securities and credit risk transfer securities, among other hedging activities.
Regarding cost, the company’s expense ratio runs below 1.0%. This ranks it among the lowest-costing REITs regarding stockholder equity and is central to its ability to pay consistently industry-leading dividends. As of 2022, the company had more than $61 billion in cash and securities. At the time, the portfolio consisted of 92% 30-year fixed-rate mortgage-backed securities, 3% 15-year fixed-rate RMBS, 3% CMBS, 2% 20-year fixed-rate RMBS and only 1% of variable rate and non-agency residential loans.
The company operates via a network of subsidiaries that includes Bethesda Securities. Bethesda Securities is a self-clearing registered broker/dealer of fixed-income securities and facilitates most of the company’s investment activities. The company is registered with the SEC, FINRA, the Depository Trust Corporation and 2 Fixed Income Clearing Corporation divisions.
The company’s active management strategy allows it to alter the portfolio as interest rates change. As of 2022, the company was shifting the 30-year fixed-rate portfolio in line with FOMC policy and listed expected life CPR of investments in a range of 5% to 7% with the total portfolio expected to return 7%. In regard to funding, the company’s repurchase agreements are issued with maturities of 3 months or 6 to 12 months. The average cost of the funding portfolio was 2.85% with an average of 35 days until maturity. Hedging activities include interest rate swaps, payer swaptions and US treasuries (short or long).