SANTA FE NEW MEXICAN

Santa Fe-based Thornburg Mortgage Inc. said it made some money in the third quarter of 2008, $140 million to be exact. That compares with net income of $53.3 million for the prior quarter.

 

Part of the profit was because some of the company’s debt lost value, resulting in positive numbers for the bottom line.

“It’s confusing,” said Thornburg Mortgage’s president and CEO, Larry Goldstone, in a teleconference Wednesday morning. But “when debts decline in value, it results in gains in our portfolio.”

Goldstone said the important part about the company’s third-quarter performance is that it shows there is “substantial core profitability” in the company, which stands to be “highly profitable as we move forward.”

He added: “The primary challenge is to find reliable and predictable financing” that will allow the company to begin issuing mortgages again.

The company ended the most recent quarter with $26.3 billion in assets.

A company statement said 98.18 percent of Thornburg’s adjustable-rate mortgage portfolio was high quality, of which 15 percent represented purchased adjustable-rate mortgage assets rated AAA or AA, and the rest comprised high-quality adjustable-rate mortgage loans.

Thornburg Mortgage continues negotiations with its lenders in an effort to gain the funds it needs to resume normal business operations.

Thornburg is a single-family residential mortgage lender focused on prime and superprime buyers seeking jumbo adjustable-rate mortgages.

Shares of Thornburg were trading at $1.18, down 29 cents, as trading wrapped up Wednesday on Wall Street.