Doral Financial Restates Floating Rate IO Valuation Related Earnings
Salomon Levis, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Doral Financial, announced that after consulting with various financial institutions and other firms with experience in valuation issues, the Company has…
…determined that it is appropriate to correct the methodology used to calculate the fair value of its portfolio of floating rate interest only strips (“IOs”). The Company’s preliminary estimate is that this correction will result in a decrease in the fair value of its floating rate IOs of between $400 million to $600 million as of December 31, 2004. The required adjustment cannot be taken as a charge in current period earnings but instead will have to be reflected in those periods during which the origination of floating rate IOs had a material impact on the Company’s financial statements. The after-tax effect of the required adjustments as of December 31, 2004 is estimated to range between $290 million to $435 million. The Company has not yet determined how such net impact will be distributed among the affected periods. The required charge to income will be a non-cash item and will not reduce the amount of the Company’s cash and cash equivalents as of December 31, 2004.
Based on the above, the Company’s management concluded that the previously filed interim and audited financial statements for the periods from January 1, 2000 through December 31, 2004, could be materially affected and, therefore, should no longer be relied on and that the financial statements for some or all of the periods included therein should be restated. The Company’s management presented its conclusion to the Company’s Audit Committee and Board of Directors. After a review of management’s presentation and other pertinent facts and consulting with its independent counsel, the Company’s Audit Committee and Board of Directors concurred with this decision. Management and the Audit Committee met with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, the Company’s independent registered public accounting firm, to discuss its preliminary revised estimate of the IO valuation and also discussed with them the Company’s conclusion that a restatement is required. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP has not yet performed audit procedures on the revised estimate.
As part of its mortgage business, the Company generates fixed rate non-conforming mortgage loans, pools them and sells most of them on a floating rate basis. Upon sale, the Company capitalizes and records for accounting purposes a floating rate IO. This IO represents the excess spread between the fixed rate the Company receives on the underlying mortgage loans and the floating rate based on 90 day LIBOR it pays to investors. The Company recognizes gain on sale of mortgages as part of these transactions. In the case of the floating rate IOs, the recorded gain on sale represents the estimated present value of the excess interest spread, discounted over the expected life of the underlying mortgages, using the prepayment experience of the mortgage portfolio to calculate estimated life. The Company has historically used the contractual or actual 90-day LIBOR rate at the end of each reporting period to compute the value of its IOs and gain on sale. The use of actual 90-day LIBOR rates instead of the forward LIBOR curve to value its floating rate IOs can have either a positive or negative impact on valuation depending on the relationship of existing 90-day LIBOR rates to the forward LIBOR curve at the time of valuation.
As noted above, after consulting with various financial institutions and valuation experts, the Company determined that its valuation model should incorporate the forward yield curve and that a substantial adjustment to the value of its floating rate IOs was required. The Company is working with First Manhattan Consulting Group, a risk management specialist, to assess its risk measurement and risk management techniques.
As a result of the restatement process, the Company will delay the release of its earnings for the first quarter of 2005. The Company stated that its objective was to release its unaudited earnings as soon as practicable but could not assure investors at this time when it would be in a position to release the restated results for prior periods and the results for the first quarter of 2005. As part of the restatement process, the Company will also be reviewing all the assumptions and processes used to value its IOs and mortgage servicing rights and to calculate the gains on sale as well as management’s report on internal controls over financial reporting for 2004. The Company also stated that the outside directors had retained Latham & Watkins LLP as its independent counsel to review the facts and circumstances relating to the IO valuation issues identified by the Company.
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