Ares Commercial Real Estate Corporation Reports Second Quarter 2021 Results
Ares Commercial Real Estate Corporation (the "Company") (NYSE:ACRE), a specialty finance company engaged in originating and investing in commercial real estate assets, reported generally accepted accounting principles ("GAAP") net income of $17.6 million or $0.43 per diluted common share and Distributable Earnings(1) of $15.1 million or $0.37 per diluted common share for the second quarter of 2021.
"We reported another strong quarter with Distributable Earnings per share up 16% versus the same period a year ago," said Bryan Donohoe, Chief Executive Officer of Ares Commercial Real Estate Corporation. "With our broad market coverage and increased capital base, we are in a strong position to invest given our growing pipeline of attractive opportunities. During the second quarter, we closed $311 million of commitments and, subsequent to the end of the quarter, another $254 million of commitments in July."
"Our senior-oriented portfolio continues to perform well with recovering real estate market fundamentals leading to a corresponding lift in our weighted average portfolio risk rating," said Tae-Sik Yoon, Chief Financial Officer of Ares Commercial Real Estate Corporation. "In addition, as we continue to see further reductions in our CECL reserve due to improvements in our overall loan performance and market environment outlook, combined with the accretive impact of our recent common share offering, our book value per share has now increased for the fourth consecutive quarter."
(1) Beginning in the fourth quarter of 2020, the non-GAAP financial measure of Core Earnings was renamed to Distributable Earnings. Refer to Schedule I for the definition and reconciliation of Distributable Earnings.
COMMON STOCK DIVIDEND
On May 4, 2021, the Company declared a regular cash dividend of $0.33 per common share and a supplemental cash dividend of $0.02 per common share for the second quarter of 2021. The second quarter 2021 dividend and supplemental cash dividend were paid on July 15, 2021 to common stockholders of record as of June 30, 2021. On July 30, 2021, the Company declared a regular cash dividend of $0.33 per common share and a supplemental cash dividend of $0.02 per common share for the third quarter of 2021. The third quarter 2021 dividend and supplemental cash dividend will be payable on October 15, 2021 to common stockholders of record as of September 30, 2021.
The Company issued a presentation of its second quarter 2021 results, which can be viewed at www.arescre.com on the Investor Resources section of our home page under Events and Presentations. The presentation is titled "Second Quarter 2021 Earnings Presentation." The Company also filed its Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2021 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on July 30, 2021.
CONFERENCE CALL AND WEBCAST INFORMATION
On Friday, July 30, 2021, the Company invites all interested persons to attend its webcast/conference call at 12:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) to discuss its second quarter 2021 financial results.
All interested parties are invited to participate via telephone or the live webcast, which will be hosted on a webcast link located on the Home page of the Investor Resources section of the Company's website at http://www.arescre.com. Please visit the website to test your connection before the webcast. Domestic callers can access the conference call by dialing +1 (888) 317-6003. International callers can access the conference call by dialing +1 (412) 317-6061. All callers will need to enter the Participant Elite Entry Number 9261682 followed by the # sign and reference "Ares Commercial Real Estate Corporation" once connected with the operator. All callers are asked to dial in 10-15 minutes prior to the call so that name and company information can be collected. For interested parties, an archived replay of the call will be available through August 13, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) to domestic callers by dialing +1 (877) 344-7529 and to international callers by dialing +1 (412) 317-0088. For all replays, please reference conference number 10156566. An archived replay will also be available through August 13, 2021 on a webcast link located on the Home page of the Investor Resources section of the Company's website.
ABOUT ARES COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE CORPORATION
Ares Commercial Real Estate Corporation is a specialty finance company primarily engaged in originating and investing in commercial real estate loans and related investments. Through its national direct origination platform, the Company provides a broad offering of flexible and reliable financing solutions for commercial real estate owners and operators. The Company originates senior mortgage loans, as well as subordinate financings, mezzanine debt and preferred equity, with an emphasis on providing value added financing on a variety of properties located in liquid markets across the United States. Ares Commercial Real Estate Corporation elected and qualified to be taxed as a real estate investment trust and is externally managed by a subsidiary of Ares Management Corporation. For more information, please visit www.arescre.com. The contents of such website are not, and should not be deemed to be, incorporated by reference herein.
Statements included herein or on the webcast / conference call may constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, which relate to future events or the Company's future performance or financial condition. These statements are not guarantees of future performance, condition or results and involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements as a result of a number of factors, including the returns on current and future investments, rates of repayments and prepayments on the Company's mortgage loans, availability of investment opportunities, the Company's ability to originate additional investments and completion of pending investments, the availability of capital, the availability and cost of financing, market trends and conditions in the Company's industry and the general economy, the level of lending and borrowing spreads and interest rates, commercial real estate loan volumes, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the pandemic's impact on the U.S. and global economy, the Company's ability to pay future dividends at historical levels or at all, and the risks described from time to time in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC (News - Alert)"), including, but not limited to, the risk factors described in Part I, Item 1A. Risk Factors in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K, filed with the SEC on February 18, 2021 and the risk factors described in Part II, Item 1A. Risk Factors in the Company's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, filed with the SEC on July 30, 2021. Any forward-looking statement, including any contained herein, speaks only as of the time of this press release and Ares Commercial Real Estate Corporation undertakes no duty to update any forward-looking statements made herein or on the webcast/conference call. Projections and forward-looking statements are based on management's good faith and reasonable assumptions, including the assumptions described herein.
(1) There is no assurance dividends will continue at these levels or at all.
Reconciliation of Net Income to Non-GAAP Distributable Earnings
Beginning in the fourth quarter of 2020, the non-GAAP financial measure of Core Earnings was renamed to Distributable Earnings to more appropriately reflect the principal purpose of the measure. Distributable Earnings helps the Company evaluate its financial performance excluding the effects of certain transactions and GAAP adjustments that it believes are not necessarily indicative of its current loan origination portfolio and operations. To maintain the Company's REIT status, the Company is generally required to annually distribute to its stockholders substantially all of its taxable income. The Company believes the disclosure of Distributable Earnings provides useful information to investors regarding the Company's ability to pay dividends, which is one of the principal reasons investors invest in the Company. The presentation of this additional information is not meant to be considered in isolation or as a substitute for financial results prepared in accordance with GAAP. Distributable Earnings is defined as net income (loss) computed in accordance with GAAP, excluding non-cash equity compensation expense, the incentive fees the Company pays to its Manager (Ares Commercial Real Estate Management LLC), depreciation and amortization (to the extent that any of the Company's target investments are structured as debt and the Company forecloses on any properties underlying such debt), any unrealized gains, losses or other non-cash items recorded in net income (loss) for the period, regardless of whether such items are included in other comprehensive income or loss, or in net income (loss), one-time events pursuant to changes in GAAP and certain non-cash charges after discussions between the Company's manager and the Company's independent directors and after approval by a majority of the Company's independent directors. Loan balances that are deemed to be uncollectible are written off as a realized loss and are included in Distributable Earnings. Distributable Earnings is aligned with the calculation of "Core Earnings," which is defined in the Management Agreement and is used to calculate the incentive fees the Company pays to its Manager.
Reconciliation of net income attributable to common stockholders, the most directly comparable GAAP financial measure, to Distributable Earnings is set forth in the table below for the three and twelve months ended June 30, 2021 ($ in thousands):
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