April 24, 2001

 

 

 

 

  Headlines:

 

       Yes, There Are People in the Leasing Business Stupid Enough to Send Money to Nigeria

        Average Top Credit Card Rate is 14.66%--variable interest, too, plus

           no schedule of principal pay down when comparing to a lease

         Advanta Credit Card Business Earns 2%, They Report

          Baseball Special ( as it appears many will have the time to attend ball games )

           GATX on a Roll----Their Press Release

 

Thursday, April 26, San Francisco, Equipment Leasing Association Luncheon Meeting

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

   No One In the Leasing Business Is That Stupid---Wrong!!!!!

 

Yes, there are people in the business world, and the leasing industry, who have

fallen for this scam Congo scam.

 

One leasing industry person, who attends many of the conferences, and is well-known,

told me he fell for the Nigeria scam last year.  He put $40,000 into the bank, his

bank, as his requirement, and when the supposed consulate person withdrew $39,500,

he said he needed the money, and might lose the contact if he didn't get another

$10,000. That is all he needed. Just $10,000.  He had to move fast.  Nevertheless, this leasing

industry person only lost $39,500, as he was not going to fall for putting another $10,000

up-front. He reported it to the Department of Justice that was very well aware of

the scheme and its many versions.

 

And several readers sent in e-mails to ask if I was "positive" it was a scam.

They wanted to know if we were "accurate."

 

As another reader wrote, as P.T.Barnum said, " There is a sucker born every minute."

 

To those of you who wrote in and said we in the leasing industry are not that dumb,

how about Advanta, Unicapital, and the many others who bid for plastic card lease

accounts, or deals from the internet that no one knew the vendor or checked out

the vendor or the delivery of equipment. Or who invested in a dot.com that

was $30 million in the hole and still not showing a profit, but could raise

another $10 million because it was "the internet."  Wasn't that dumb, too?

 

        +              +             +

 

I received this email the other day.  It is very similar to the one you

just let us know about in your newsletter.  In addition we have received

phone calls from the so called Prince of Nigeria requesting account

information for wire transfer. If it sounds crazy, it probably is!

 

What will they think of next? How stupid does one have to be?

 

James Hurst

d_williams_11@yahoo.com

Alternative Capital

800-351-2120            Phone

407-522-5373            Fax

 

 

 

Attn:President/Ceo.

STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL BUSINESS PROPOSAL

RE:            TRANSFER OF US$21.5 MILLION (TWENTY ONE MILLION,

            FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND US DOLLARS ONLY).

 

I know this email will reach you as a surprise, but need not to worry as

we are using the only secured and confidential medium available to seek

for foreign assistance/partnership in a business transaction which is of

mutual benefit.

I am a member of the Federal Government of Nigeria Contract Award and

Monitoring Committee in the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporatio(NNPC)

Sometime ago, a contract was awarded to a foreign firm in NNPC by my

Committee. This contract was over invoiced to the tune of US$21.5M. U.S.

Dollars. This was done deliberately. The over-invoicing was a deal by my

committee to benefit from the project. We now want to transfer this

money which is in a suspense Account with NNPC into any Overseas Account

which we expect you to provide for us.

SHARE: -

For providing the account where we shall remit the money into, you will

be entitled to 30% of the money,60% will be for me and my partners while

10% has been mapped out from the total sum to cover any expenses that

maybe incurred by us during the course of this transfer ,both locally and

international expenses.

I would require the following: -

1.         Your company's name,address,telephone and fax numbers.

2.         Your bank account and address where the money will be remitted.

 

The above information would be used to make formal applications as a

matter of procedure for the release of the money and onward transfer to

your account.  It does not matter whether or not your company does

contract projects of this nature described here. The assumption is that

your company won the major contract and subcontracted it out to other

companies. More often than not,big trading companies or firms of

unrelated fields win major contracts and subcontracts to more

specialized firms for execution of such contracts.

We have strong reliable connections and contacts at the Central Bank of

Nigeria, as well as the Federal Ministry of Finance and we have no doubt

that all the money will be released and transferred if we get the

necessary foreign partner to assist us in this deal.  Therefore,when the

business is successfully concluded we shall through our same connections

withdraw all documents used from all the concerned Government Ministries

for 100% security.

We are ordinary civil servants and we will not want to miss this once in

a lifetime opportunity to get rich.  We want this money to be

transferred to the overseas Accounts for us, before the present

Democratic Government start Auditing all Federal Government owned

Parastatals.

Please contact me immediately through my telephone number whether or not

you are interested in this deal.If you are not,it will enable me scout

for another foreign partner to carry out this deal.  Butwhere you are

interested,send the required documents aforementioned herein through my

above telephone number, or e-mail:petroleum_dev1@yahoo.com as time is of

the essence in this business.  I wait in anticipation of your fullest

co-operation.

                                                Yours faithfully,

                                                Dr.Danladi Williams

 

 

              +                 +                 +

 

 

I am embarrassed to say about 4 years ago I took this seriously and thank god I got to my

senses. I know people who lost between 20-50,000

 

 ( Name With Held )

      +                  +            +

I just received this e-mail today, and it reminded me of the old African

fraud you mentioned earlier this month. Could it be???

Ross

Ross Reida <Ross@aelusa.com

 

 

 

DR JOHN BANKOLE

Tel: 234 1 774 6565,

Fax: 234 1  759 2789

24thApril, 2001.

 

Investment Proposal.

Dear Sir,

 

I hope this mail will reach you in the best of health and business

conditions and receive the most desired attention from you even as we have

not had any previous correspondence before.

I am constrained by insufficient information about you to express in full

the main objectives of this proposal. However, kindly reach me immediately

for details should you agree to its content.

My colleagues and I would like to solicit your kindness in assisting us to

champion the transfer of some fund from our country to yours for safe

keeping. The total amount of fund is $36Million. The source of this fund

will be disclosed to you as soon as your positive response is received to

this effect.

I am a principal accountant to the Federal Ministry of Aviation and the

Chairman to the Federal Tenders' Board in charge of contract award and

monitoring in Nigeria.

Basically, you would be required to nominate a suitable bank account that

will conveniently accommodate the total fund. Account could be a fresh or an

already existing one, and could be individual or corporate account.

On completion of the transaction, you shall have a benefit of 30% of the

fund for your envisaged efforts and assistance rendered. 10% shall be used

to settle any expenses both you and I shall make at the course of this

transaction. Details of this proposal will be sent to you as soon as your

response is received.

Please call me on Telephone No: 234 1 774 6565, or send a Fax to No: 234  1

759 2789 for more details on how we shall commence the whole transaction.

This proposal is strictly confidential, free from any form of risk and does

not depend on any particular field of trade to prosecute. It however

requires your adequate participation and support to enable its

accomplishment on schedule.

Thanks in anticipation and God bless.

Best regards.

DR JOHN BANKOLE

 

 +                +                       +

 

    Subject: Beware this Scam

 

    This is now making the rounds via the internet. For years, it has been in the mail to

businesses. It must work, as the person still is sending it after all the years---evidently

there are people who fall for this scam.

 

         

 

    FROM: DR. AHMED KASSIM

 

    FEDERAL TRADE CENTER

 

    FEDERAL SECRETARIAT COMPLEX (ANNEX)

 

    SUITE#: 1030

 

    IKOYI - LAGOS

 

    ATTN: PRESIDENT/C.E.O

 

    Dear Sir/Madam,

 

    REQUEST FOR URGENT BUSINESS RELATIONSHIP

 

    I am a Director in one of the Federal  Ministries here in Nigeria. You were recommended to

us by an associate, who   assured us in Confidence of your ability and capability to prosecute a

 

 

 

 

business transaction of huge magnitude requiring maximum confidence and strict  

confidentiality. Our intention is to introduce this business deal to you that would be mutually

beneficial to both parties.

 

     

 

    We require the assistance of a foreign company   / partner in the transfer of the sum of

US$27,500,000.00 [TWENTY SEVEN MILLION, FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS] which is

presently held in the Industrial Bank here in Nigeria. We intend to use the funds in the

importation of goods into our country, working hand in hand with a foreign partner after the

funds has been successfully transferred to an account  overseas.

 

This business deal will be subject to satisfactory arrangements as to agreed terms and

conditions of partnership.   For the sake of confidentiality, I would not be able to disclose the nature of this transaction for now. However, I would furnish you with the details of the transaction when you get in touch with me on my E-mail address as indicated above.

 

    If you are interested in this business transaction, please contact me on my above E-mail

address, so that I can   forward to you the detailed modalities of this transaction. 

 

    You should please note, that this transaction is meant to be concluded within a certain time frame, hence your prompt response is solicited.     

 

    We look forward to doing this business with you.

   

 

    Thanks,

 

     

 

    Yours Faithfully,

    DR. AHMED KASSIM

 

    Ag.Director

 

    Budget and Planning

 

    ------------------------------------------------------------- 

 

      ( Now if this were an ATM machine for a Chiropractor's office, new in business,

      in a major shopping center in North Dakota, guaranteed by his brother who

      is a dentist, and the bankruptcy was only five years ago, and the vendor

      from Burgoine, Mississippi, said if you do this deal, he'll send

      you all his ATM business, now that is another matter. editor )                

                   

Coda---

 

This is not targeting the leasing industry - these guys are targeting every

man, woman, child in the country, maybe the world!  When I was at the NACM

Loss Prevention Dept (I left 4 years ago), we had hundreds of these - they

were ALL different, but all of the same general concept...I s/w someone from

FBI headquarters and he said that they had they had - don't quote me on this

- I think it was TEN'S of thousands of them out of Nigeria, and they couldn't

detect any pattern. In other words, there was no 'mastermind' that could be

linked to them (which would have made it easier to stop).

 

Nonetheless, I think it's a good thing to continue to warn people. Keep it

up!

 

Rob Lawson

CrToday@aol.com

Credit Today

301-421-4402

 

 

__________________________________________

     

      Thursday, San Francisco, Equipment Leasing Association Luncheon Meeting

 

San Francisco, CA

Renaissance Parc 54

55 Cyril Magnin Street

San Francisco, CA.

Tel (415) 392-8000

Complete Electronic Lease Transaction

Legal Update on Digital Signatures

Presenters:

Chuck Nabit

Matt Shieman

Mark Schreiber

Cooper White & Cooper

11:30am Registration

12 Noon Luncheon and presentation

2pm Conclude

 

If you would like further information on these Metros please call Jeanne Lund at (703) 516-8366,

 

 

 

or email her at jlund@elamail.com

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

How interest-rate cut will affect your credit cards, variable loans

Jane Bryant Quinn

 

 

With general interest rates coming down, when can you expect rates on your own loans to drop?

Variable-rate loans will drop on a schedule written into your lending agreement (which you may not have read). Loans with fixed rates normally don't change, but might in some cases. Here's what to expect:

 

-- CREDIT CARDS. Nearly half of all cards currently carry variable rates, says Robert McKinley, president of CardWeb.com, which keeps track of the industry. They are often tied to the bank prime lending rate, which dropped again last week -- the third decline this year.

The prime rate currently stands at 7.5 percent. Variable-rate cards are charging an average of 14.66 percent on unpaid balances, McKinley says.

The majority of banks adjust their card rates monthly, so many customers will already have seen a cut.

 

The remaining banks generally adjust quarterly, and April starts a new quarter. This month, virtually all consumers with variable-rate cards should be on track to lower rates. Watch for it in your next billing cycle.

 

So-called "fixed-rate" cards are another story. When you sign up, you probably assume that "fixed" carries its normal English meaning -- that is, a rate that won't change. Poor you. The meaning is far more slippery than that.

 

As an example, take a recent offer from Fleet Bank for a card with a "revolutionary low, fixed rate" of just 7.99 percent. The mailing said that this wasn't a mere "introductory rate" that would rise after "only a few short months," but a real, fixed rate.

The reader who showed me this mailing signed up for the card. Six months later, her "fixed" rate rose by about 2.5 percentage points.

 

And yes, that's legal. Fleet spokeswoman Deborah Pulver says it's "well recognized" that credit-card terms can be "modified," at the will of the bank.

Oh? Well recognized by whom?

 

You should probably expect any super-low "fixed" rate to be "modified" upward. The fine print in credit-card agreements gives the bank the right to change the rate at will, as long as you are notified at least 15 days in advance.

 

For top credit risks, fixed rates today range from around 9.9 percent to 12. 99 percent. The average fixed rate: 16.04 percent. If interest rates keep on going down, some fixed-rate cards might be forced to cut rates to keep people from switching to something better.

If your card issuer is offering lower rates to new customers, call and ask for that rate yourself. That usually works for people in good credit standing. "Banks offer lots of rates," McKinley told my associate, Dori Perrucci. "They'll offer a lower rate to retain you."

 

-- MORTGAGES. Payments on a one-year adjustable-rate mortgage change on the loan's anniversary date. Your specific rate might be tied to Treasury rates or to the cost of funds at lending institutions.

 

Mortgage rates have been declining since last summer. On average, new one- year adjustable are running at 6.32 percent, according to HSH Associates (for the latest, see www.hsh.com).

Adjustable mortgages have been a pretty good choice in recent years. Rates rose in 1999 and early 2000. But during that period, you still paid less than you would have with a fixed-rate loan. What's more, when market rates decline, your mortgage rate also declines, at no extra cost to you.

 

Borrowers who chose fixed rates, however, are hustling to refinance. You will have to pay closing costs again, so make sure that your savings in monthly payments are worth the expense.

A 30-year fixed-rate loan is averaging 7.36 percent. A 15-year loan runs around 6.87 percent. When fixed- and adjustable-rate mortgages cost about the same, the fixed-rate loans are generally more appealing.

 

By the way, not everyone should refinance. Refinancing starts the clock ticking on your loan again. If you've paid for 10 years and decide to take a new 30-year loan, you will pay more in interest over the long run, even though your monthly payments drop.

Ideally, you should refinance over a shorter term or for the same number of years remaining on your current mortgage.

 

-- HOME EQUITY CREDIT LINES. Most of these loans are tied to the bank prime rate. Right now, they're averaging 9.13 percent -- more than a point and a half over prime. Rates are reviewed each month. When they change, you usually see the result in the next billing cycle.

-- AUTO LOANS. Don't even consider refinancing. Loans are the cheapest on new cars. If you refinance, you'll get the higher used-car rate.

______________________________________________

 

  New Orleans' National Association of Equipment Lease Brokers Conference

 

This year's conference promises to be better than ever! Just look at some of

the workshops:

 

Thursday, May 17: "Winning With Leasing!"

An intense full-day training seminar focused on advanced leasing issues.

Two of the leading authorities on leasing- Sudhir Amembal, from a technical

viewpoint and Loni Lowder from a sales perspective, will show you how to use

lease vs. buy analysis, off-balance sheet structures, tax pricing and AMT

analysis to become a valued consultant to your customers. In addition,

attendees will receive a report on the current industry environment,

including trends and forecasts.

 

Friday, May 18:       "90% Approvals - 99% of the Time"

By Bob Bell, CLP

Tips to getting "app only" transactions approved

 

Saturday, May 19:  "Selling Against the Bank"

By Stan Friedman

Beating the bank without ever mentioning the rate

 

These are just a few of the workshops being offered at this year's NAELB

Conference in New Orleans. For more workshop information and full program

details visit us at www.naelb.org/meeting%20promo.pdf

 

note: Any member of the major lease association can attend at the NAELB

  member price.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

################################################

 

      Advanta Business Cards Reports On Track Results; Achieves ROA of 2.0%

 

 

SPRING HOUSE, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 24, 2001--Advanta Corporation (NASDAQ:ADVNB; ADVNA)

today announced first quarter net income for Advanta Business Cards of $8.3 million,

representing an after tax return on average managed receivables of 2.0% on an annualized basis.

Operating results from continuing business segments were $0.28 per share for Class A and Class B

shares combined. Book value per share at March 31, 2001 remains in line with the Company's

expectations at $16.05, after recording restructuring and other non-operating items.

 

Advanta also announced that its Board of Directors has authorized the repurchase of up to 1.5

million shares of the Company's common stock or the equivalent dollar amount of trust preferred

securities or some combination thereof.

 

"This quarter we completed Advanta's strategic repositioning. We will now focus all our

operating activities on our very profitable business credit card operation and small business

market. We believe this market remains relatively unsaturated, unlike the consumer card

business," said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Dennis Alter. "We accomplished this

repositioning while progressing on track toward our operating goals for 2001."

 

During the quarter, the Company successfully negotiated an early termination of its strategic

alliance to direct market auto insurance and completed the sale of its mortgage business. The

Company also ceased lease originations, implemented a program to restructure its corporate

functions to a size commensurate with its ongoing business, and recorded asset valuation charges

on its venture capital portfolio. As a result of the non-operating items and restructuring

charges, the Company reported a net loss for the quarter of $29 million, or $1.17 per share on a

diluted basis for its Class A and Class B shares combined.

 

Advanta Business Cards ended the quarter with managed receivables of $1.78 billion, as compared

to $1.66 billion at December 31, 2000. Consistent with the Company's expectations, over 30 day

delinquencies were 5.2% at March 31, 2001 and charge-offs for the first quarter were 6.5% on an

annualized basis. The Company's on-balance sheet loan loss reserve as a percent of owned

receivables was 9.9% at March 31, 2001.

 

The Company has taken significant steps in reducing its leverage. On April 6, the Company

completed the tender offer for medium-term notes solicited in the first quarter. When additional

untendered medium-term notes mature on May 1, 2001, Advanta will have reduced its outstanding

institutional debt by approximately $319 million since December 31, 2000. Of the remaining $25

million of institutional debt outstanding after May 1, 2001, $24.8 million matures between June

2001 and September 2001. The Company is also in the process of significantly reducing its retail

notes.

 

Advanta management will hold a conference call with analysts and institutional investors today,

April 24, 2001, at 9:00 am Eastern time. The call will be broadcast simultaneously for the

public over the Internet through www.advanta.com or www.vcall.com. To listen to the live call,

please go to the web site at least fifteen minutes early to register, download, and install any

necessary audio software. For those unable to listen to the live broadcast, replays will be

available shortly after the call on the Vcall site.

 

Advanta is a highly focused financial services company which has been providing innovative

financial solutions since 1951. Advanta leverages its first-class direct marketing and

information based expertise to develop state-of-the-art data warehousing and statistical

modeling tools that identify potential customers and new target markets. Over the past five

years, it has used these distinctive capabilities to become one of the nation's largest issuers

of MasterCard business credit cards to small businesses. Learn more about Advanta at

www.advanta.com.

############################################

 Now you don't have to go to Advanta for a Master Card, but the way the leasing

 industry is today, many of us will have time to go to baseball games, so here

 is a package that might interest you.

 

 And if you are not interested, just pass this by. editor

 

############################################

MasterCard International Launches Major League Baseball Ticketing Program for 2001 Season; Grand

Slam Ticket Pack Features Discounted Game Tickets, Concessions on MLB.com

 

   

    PURCHASE, N.Y.----April 24, 2001--

 

New Baseball-Themed Advertising Highlights Fans' Passion for the Game

 

    MasterCard International, an official sponsor of Major League Baseball, will make it more

affordable for families and friends to enjoy a day at the ballpark by offering the "MasterCard

Grand Slam Ticket Pack" to card holders in 15 markets around the country.

    Each Grand Slam Ticket Pack will include four game tickets and vouchers good for

concessions. The Ticket Packs will offer discounts of up to 45% and are available for more that

230 home dates at ballparks around the country. MasterCard Grand Slam Ticket Packs are available

exclusively to MasterCard card holders.

    "As a long-time MLB sponsor we wanted to create a program that had a direct impact for

baseball fans," said Bob Cramer, vice president, Global Sponsorship & Event Marketing,

MasterCard International. "For the past four years, we've celebrated the `Priceless' moments of

baseball through our ad campaign. Now, we're supplementing that concept with a tangible offer

that will make it easier for our card holders to experience those `Priceless' moments

first-hand."

    Starting today, fans can access the MasterCard Grand Slam Ticket Pack by pointing their Web

browsers to MLB.com, the official Web site of Major League Baseball and clicking on the

MasterCard logo and following the on-screen instructions. MasterCard will offer Grand Slam

Ticket Packs for the following cities/clubs:

 

 

-- Arizona Diamondbacks               -- Los Angeles Dodgers

-- Atlanta Braves                     -- Minnesota Twins  

-- Baltimore Orioles                  -- New York Mets    

-- Boston Red Sox                     -- Pittsburgh Pirates

-- Cincinnati Reds                    -- San Diego Padres 

-- Cleveland Indians                  -- St. Louis Cardinals

-- Colorado Rockies                   -- Texas Rangers    

-- Kansas City Royals               

    Fans wishing to purchase tickets for Baltimore, Cleveland, Boston, San Diego and Atlanta can

call their local club box office and ask for the MasterCard Grand Slam Ticket Pack. All other

participating MLB Clubs' offers are available for online purchase; teams may charge a service

charge for each order.

    "MasterCard has always supported its sponsorship of Major League Baseball in innovative

ways, and this new Grand Slam Ticket Pack is a great way for fans to benefit from Major League

Baseball's relationship with MasterCard," said Tim Brosnan, executive vice president, Business,

for Major League Baseball.

    The introduction of the Grand Slam Ticket Pack follows the launch of MasterCard's latest

baseball-themed advertising, which debuted on network television on April 9th. The new creative,

entitled "The Trip," tells the story of two "twenty-somethings" who truly love the game of

baseball and have decided to embark on the journey of a lifetime by visiting every Major League

ballpark.

    The story celebrates the institution of baseball by delving into the tradition and pageantry

of the game, fans' passion for the sport, and the shrines that are ballparks. The new baseball

spot is the latest in MasterCard's award-winning "Priceless" advertising campaign produced by

McCann-Erickson.

    "MasterCard's new 'Priceless' creative really captures the essence of the millions of

baseball fans who follow the game with such passion and enthusiasm," said Brosnan.

    MasterCard has been an official sponsor and the Official Card of Major League Baseball since

1997. MasterCard also has affiliations with local clubs including the Atlanta Braves, Baltimore

Orioles, Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Mets, San Diego

Padres, St. Louis Cardinals and Seattle Mariners.

 

#############################################

GATX Corporation Reports First Quarter Results

 

CHICAGO, April 24 /PRNewswire Interactive News Release/ -- GATX Corporation (NYSE: GMT) today announced its 2001 first quarter results. For the quarter, GATX reported consolidated net income of $170.7 million, or $3.45 per fully diluted share. The results include $159.3 million of after-tax gains recognized to date on the sale of GATX Terminals Corporation's domestic and European operations, net of certain charges due to the closing of other business development activities previously incorporated within the Integrated Solutions Group, and $20.2 million of after-tax charges due to the closing of GATX Rail's East Chicago repair facility and other non-recurring items.

Excluding the net gain from the sale of GATX Terminals and the nonrecurring charges, first quarter consolidated income totaled $31.6 million or $.63 per fully diluted share compared to net income of $40.6 million or $.82 per fully diluted share in the prior year period. Income per share is summarized in the attached appendix. All comments from here forward in this press release regarding first quarter results and the 2001 outlook pertain to normalized operations excluding the Terminals-related gain and non-recurring charges.

Ronald H. Zech, chairman of GATX Corporation, stated, "The first quarter was one of both substantial progress on our strategic initiatives and challenges in certain markets. On the strategic front, we completed the sale of GATX Terminals' domestic and European operations as planned. The proceeds from the sale greatly enhance our capital structure and set the stage for redeployment of this capital into our higher-return finance and leasing businesses. We also closed three other significant transactions during the quarter: the purchase of a 50% interest in Pembroke Group, a large aircraft leasing entity with over $850 million in assets; the purchase of a rail operation in Poland incorporating nearly 12,000 railcars; and the acquisition of a $370 million technology equipment portfolio from El Camino Resources. These transactions highlight our strategy of leveraging our partnering skills, asset knowledge and structuring expertise. Lastly, during the first quarter we signed a new labor agreement with our U.S. rail maintenance center employees, ending a lengthy labor dispute and positioning the company for more efficient performance in the years ahead.

"While the strategic steps point to positive long-term success for GATX, increasing economic weakness and issues within certain markets present significant near-term challenges. In particular, the North American rail market continued to weaken in the first quarter. Major customers, particularly in the chemical industry, are experiencing difficult conditions in their respective markets. Higher natural gas prices, which dramatically increase raw material costs and decrease production expectations for chemical companies, are ultimately resulting in tempered demand for railcars. Each of these factors had a negative impact on GATX Rail's first quarter results as comparable income of $12.1 million was down from $13.4 million in the prior quarter and $18.5 million in the year ago period. Notwithstanding the fact that due to the labor dispute we incurred approximately $2.0 million of incremental after-tax maintenance expense in each of the past two quarters, the financial results reflect difficult market conditions that are expected to have a negative impact on GATX Rail's financial results versus 2000.

"GATX Capital's first quarter pre-tax spread, remarketing income, and warrant income each increased over the prior year period. However, these increases were more than offset by our decision to increase the loss allowance primarily to reflect exposure to the telecommunications and steel markets. As a result, Financial Services' net income totaled $11.5 million in the first quarter compared to $22.9 million in the prior year period. While the telecom and steel portfolios represent a small portion of GATX Capital's net investments and only 2.5% and 1.0% of GATX's overall asset base, we believe it is prudent to allocate additional reserves to cover potential losses given the weakness in these industries. As a result of the increased loss provision and general economic weakness, we currently estimate that GATX Capital's net income will not meet 2000 levels.

"At the onset of this year, we indicated that 2001 would be a year of significant transition for GATX as we complete the sale of GATX Terminals and begin the process of redeploying the sale proceeds into our finance and leasing businesses. In 2000, our consolidated income per share, excluding a litigation reserve, was $3.37 per share and our goal has been to grow earnings from this base in 2001. We will clearly not meet this goal based on a number of factors including general economic weakness, a difficult rail market, increased year over year loss provisions, and expected near-term earnings dilution resulting from the sale of GATX Terminals. In addition, the current economic environment is presenting increased opportunities for investments in traditional assets such as aircraft and international rail, and we may shift a greater percentage of our planned investment volume toward these types of assets. These investments offer attractive long-term returns, but are not as accretive in the short-term as technology or venture investments."

Mr. Zech concluded, "Although our preference is to provide our shareholders with a clear picture of our expected operating performance in 2001, providing an accurate forecast in this environment is very difficult given the number and variety of factors that will likely impact our business. We will provide up-to-date guidance as certain markets issues and investment opportunities are clarified. GATX has experienced every possible economic scenario in its 100+ years of operation -- and our long-term view and focus on returns have always served the company well. With leading positions in attractive markets, a solid capital structure, enhanced liquidity, and a heightened focus on our core operations, GATX is well positioned for the future."

FINANCIAL SERVICES

Financial Services, comprised principally of GATX Capital, posted net income in the first quarter of $11.5 million compared to $22.9 million in the prior year period. Increases in pre-tax spread, remarketing gains, and warrant income were offset by an increased loss provision. Investment volume for the quarter totaled $755 million compared to $326 million in the prior year period. The two main drivers behind the volume increase include approximately $370 million attributable to the acquisition of a portfolio of technology equipment, and continued new investment in the aircraft portfolio.

Pre-tax spread totaled $46.9 million in the first quarter compared to $36.6 million in the prior year period. Annualized pre-tax spread in the quarter was 5.0% of average net investments compared to 5.1% in the year ago period and 3.9% in the fourth quarter of 2000. The increase in pre-tax spread was driven by continued growth in GATX Capital's total net investment balance.

Remarketing gains, including gains from the sale of owned assets and residual sharing fees, totaled $14.4 million in the quarter compared to $9.5 million in the prior year period. Remarketing gains in the quarter reflect secondary market activity primarily in the owned and managed aircraft portfolio.

Although equity markets remained volatile throughout the first quarter, warrant income for the quarter totaled $15.3 million compared to $14.0 million in the prior year period. Unrealized gains totaled $23 million at the close of the quarter compared to $46 million at year end. The change in the unrealized value reflects both the income realized during the first quarter and market-driven fluctuations in the remaining public warrant and stock positions.

In the first quarter, GATX Capital's loss provision totaled $21.3 million and the quarter-end allowance for losses totaled 5.8% of reservable assets, compared to 5.3% in the prior year period and 5.9% at the end of the fourth quarter of 2000. Net charge-offs during the quarter totaled $12.2 million, or .31% of average net investment compared to .19% in the prior year period and .70% in the fourth quarter of 2000.

GATX RAIL

GATX Rail reported a net loss of $4.1 million in the first quarter, including a $16.2 million after-tax charge related to the closing of GATX Rail's East Chicago repair facility and other non-recurring items. Excluding these non-recurring items, GATX Rail's income was $12.1 million compared to $18.5 million in the prior year period and $13.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2000. In both the first quarter of 2001 and the fourth quarter of 2000, GATX Rail incurred approximately $2.0 million of incremental after-tax maintenance expense as a result of the labor dispute.

Railcar utilization was 92% at the end of the first quarter, down slightly from 93% at year end and 94% in the prior year period. The utilization in the first quarter reflects the fact that overall railcar demand, both for new and used cars, remains soft.

In early 2000, GATX Rail began reducing new car orders, a process that continued through the balance of the year and into the first quarter of 2001. GATX Rail's North American fleet totaled 91,500 cars at the end of the first quarter, up from 90,400 in the prior year period but virtually unchanged from year end. GATX Rail's new car order activity is currently limited to specific customer orders or select car types.

DISCONTINUED OPERATIONS

Discontinued Operations incorporates the company's supply-chain services operations that were either sold during the first quarter or targeted for sale in 2001. Substantially all of GATX Terminals' domestic and European terminal and pipeline operations were sold during the quarter, generating a substantial after-tax gain of approximately $159.3 million, net of certain charges related to the closing of other business development activities previously incorporated within the Integrated Solutions Group. GATX also realized $4.6 million of income related to the sale of its remaining equity interest in GATX Logistics. GATX had retained an equity interest in GATX Logistics in order to capitalize on the potential upside from a subsequent sale of the company to another entity. For the quarter, GATX Terminals generated $2.4 million of income reflecting operations in which GATX continued to hold an ownership interest.

COMPANY DESCRIPTION

GATX Corporation (NYSE: GMT) is a unique finance and leasing company combining asset knowledge and services, structuring expertise, creative partnering and risk capital to serve customers and partners worldwide. GATX Corporation provides leasing and financial services responsive to the specialized needs of a range of businesses. GATX Corporation specializes in railcar and locomotive operating leasing, aircraft operating leasing, information technology leasing, venture finance, and financing solutions for customers in diverse industrial sectors worldwide.

 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Analysts and Investors

Robert C. Lyons

GATX Corporation

312-621-6633

or go to: http://www.corporate-ir.net/ireye/ir_site.zhtml?ticker=GMT&script=410&layout=-6&item_id=169338

########################################

 

[Back to Archives]

www.leasingnews.org
Leasing News, Inc. (Pending)
346 Mathew Street,
Santa Clara,
California 95050
E-Fax: (781)459-4789
kitmenkin@leasingnews.org
Policy Statement