Thursday, March 6, 2008

How to Lose $36.49 a share when your stock is only trading around $30

Redwood Trust (RWT), the Mill-Valley based REIT reported a net loss of $1.1 billion or $36.90 a share.  The CEO claims you shouldn't pay any attention to the losses and called them "misleading."  "We had to do huge market value adjustments which don't affect either taxable income, cash flow, or dividends."  According to the article in the Marin Independent Journal "The accounting standards that Redwood has been using - The Generally Accepted accounting Principles (aka GAAP) fail to recognize that the risk of the securities that Redwood has bought has been packaged into new securities and resold."  So, while I see his point, I still think it is absurd to tell investors to ignore a write-down that basically wiped out all of their shareholders equity and caused a negative balance.  Although RWT is in better shape than most REITs at the moment (TMA comes to mind) it is leveraged which should make all the investors breathe a big sigh of relief every time they make it to the next that fat dividend! 

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