Quarterly report pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d)


3 Months Ended
Mar. 31, 2014
Newcastle Investment Corp. (and its subsidiaries, “Newcastle”) is a Maryland corporation that was formed in 2002. Newcastle focuses on opportunistically investing in, and actively managing, a variety of real estate-related and other investments. Newcastle is organized and conducts its operations to qualify as a real estate investment trust (“REIT”) for U.S. federal income tax purposes. As such, Newcastle will generally not be subject to U.S. federal corporate income tax on that portion of its net income that is distributed to stockholders if it distributes at least 90% of its REIT taxable income to its stockholders by prescribed dates and complies with various other requirements. Newcastle's common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "NCT".

On February 13, 2014, Newcastle completed the spin-off of New Media Investment Group Inc. ("New Media"), and established New Media as a separate, publicly traded company (NYSE:NEWM). The spin-off was effected as a taxable pro rata distribution by Newcastle of all of the outstanding shares of common stock it held of New Media to Newcastle’s common stockholders of record at the close of business on February 6, 2014. The distribution ratio was 0.0722 shares of New Media common stock for each share of Newcastle common stock.

In December 2013, Newcastle restructured an investment in mezzanine debt issued by NGP Mezzanine, LLC (“NGP”), the indirect parent of NGP Realty Sub, L.P. (“National Golf”). National Golf owns 27 golf courses across 8 states, and leases these courses to American Golf Corporation (“American Golf”), an affiliated operating company. American Golf also leases an additional 54 golf courses and manages 11 courses, all owned by third parties. As part of the transaction, Newcastle acquired the equity of NGP and American Golf’s indirect parent, AGC Mezzanine Pledge LLC (“AGC”), and therefore is consolidating these entities.

As a result, Newcastle now conducts its business through the following segments: (i) investments in senior housing properties (“senior housing”), (ii) debt investments financed with collateralized debt obligations (“CDOs”), (iii) other debt investments (“other debt”), (iv) investments in golf courses and facilities (“Golf”) and (v) corporate. With respect to the CDOs and other debt investments, subject to the passing of certain periodic coverage tests, Newcastle is generally entitled to receive the net cash flows from these structures on a periodic basis.

Newcastle is party to a management agreement (the "Management Agreement") with FIG LLC (the "Manager"), a subsidiary of Fortress Investment Group LLC (“Fortress”), under which the Manager advises Newcastle on various aspects of its business and manages its day-to-day operations, subject to the supervision of Newcastle's board of directors. For its services, the Manager is entitled to an annual management fee and incentive compensation, both as defined in, and in accordance with the terms of, the Management Agreement.

Newcastle has its senior housing properties managed pursuant to property management agreements (the “Senior Housing Management Agreements”) with third parties (collectively, the “Senior Housing Managers”). Currently, the Senior Housing Managers are affiliates or subsidiaries of either Holiday Acquisition Holdings LLC (“Holiday”), a portfolio company that is majority owned by private equity funds managed by an affiliate of Newcastle’s Manager, or FHC Property Management LLC (together with its subsidiaries, “Blue Harbor”), an affiliate of Newcastle’s Manager.

Approximately 6.4 million shares of Newcastle’s common stock were held by Fortress, through its affiliates, and its principals at March 31, 2014. In addition, Fortress, through its affiliates, held options to purchase approximately 25.7 million shares of Newcastle’s common stock at March 31, 2014.
The accompanying consolidated financial statements and related notes of Newcastle have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States for interim financial reporting and the instructions to Form 10-Q and Rule 10-01 of Regulation S-X. Accordingly, certain information and footnote disclosures normally included in financial statements prepared under U.S. generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) have been condensed or omitted. In the opinion of management, all adjustments considered necessary for a fair presentation of Newcastle's financial position, results of operations and cash flows have been included and are of a normal and recurring nature. The operating results presented for interim periods are not necessarily indicative of the results that may be expected for any other interim period or for the entire year. These financial statements should be read in conjunction with Newcastle's consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2013 and notes thereto included in Newcastle’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC. Capitalized terms used herein, and not otherwise defined, are defined in Newcastle’s consolidated financial statements for the year ended December 31, 2013.
Certain prior period amounts have been reclassified to conform to the current period’s presentation.

Recently Adopted Accounting Policies

The following accounting policies have been adopted in connection with Golf.


Revenue from green fees, cart rentals, food and beverage sales, merchandise sales and other income (consisting primarily of range income, banquets, and club and other rental income) are generally recognized at the time of sale, when services are rendered and collection is reasonably assured.

Revenue from membership dues is recognized in the month earned. Membership dues received in advance are included in deferred revenues and recognized as revenue ratably over the appropriate period, which is generally twelve months or less. The monthly dues are generally structured to cover the club operating costs and membership services.

Private country club members generally pay an advance initiation fee upon their acceptance as a member to the country club. Initiation fees at most private clubs are deposits which are generally refundable 30 years after the date of acceptance as a member. Revenue related to membership deposits is recognized over the expected life of an active membership. For membership deposits, the difference between the amount paid by the member and the present value of the refund obligation is deferred and recognized on a straight-line basis over the expected life of an active membership.

The present value of the refund obligation is recorded as a membership deposit liability in the consolidated balance sheets and accretes over the nonrefundable term (30 years) using the effective interest method. This accretion is recorded as interest expense in the consolidated statements of income.


Operating Leases and Other Operating Expenses - Other operating expenses for the Golf business consist primarily of equipment leases, utilities, repairs and maintenance, supplies, seed, soil and fertilizer, and marketing. Many of the golf courses and related facilities are leased under long-term operating leases. In addition to minimum payments, certain leases require payment of the excess of various percentages of gross revenue or net operating income over the minimum rental payments. The leases generally require the payment of taxes assessed against the leased property and the cost of insurance and maintenance. The majority of lease terms range from 10 to 20 years, and typically, the leases contain renewal options. Certain leases include minimum scheduled increases in rental payments at various times during the term of the lease. These scheduled rent increases are recognized on a straight-line basis over the term of the lease, resulting in an accrual, which is included in accounts payable, accrued expenses and other liabilities, for the amount by which the cumulative straight-line rent exceeds the contractual cash rent.

Recent Accounting Pronouncements
In April 2014, the Financial Accounting Standards Board ("FASB") issued Accounting Standards Update (“ASU”) 2014-08, Presentation of Financial Statements (Topic 205) and Property, Plant, and Equipment (Topic 360): Reporting Discontinued Operations and Disclosures of Disposals of Components of an Entity.  ASU 2014-08 changes the criteria for reporting a discontinued operation.  Under the new pronouncement, a disposal of a part of an organization that has a major effect on its operations and financial results is a discontinued operation.  This update is effective for Newcastle in the first quarter of 2015. Newcastle is currently evaluating the new guidance to determine the impact it may have to its consolidated financial statements.
The FASB has recently issued or discussed a number of proposed standards on such topics as consolidation, financial statement presentation, revenue recognition, leases, financial instruments and hedging. Some of the proposed changes are significant and could have a material impact on Newcastle’s reporting. Newcastle has not yet fully evaluated the potential impact of these proposals, but will make such an evaluation as the standards are finalized.