January 11, 2001
Problems with GrayRock and NationsCredit leases via TEXTRON
(This was originally sent to be posted as a "Customer Complaint," but since this problem may be more "widespread," we are including it in our "news" section at this time. editor )
I'm wondering if there are many brokers in our industry experiencing the same problems with leases that were placed with GrayRock or NationsCredit, that we seem to be having as they mature? These leases were purchased by Textron Financial. We are receiving calls from our customer indicating they are being notified their lease is delinquent with penalties after it has matured. These calls typically come 90 days after the lessee sends their last payment and is patiently waiting for their end of lease option letter. These are business that guard their credit and have never been late throughout the term of the lease. In addition they are being quoted unrealistic FMV purchases options not consistent with the FMV 10% option pricing from the GrayRock or NationsCredit rates at the time the lease was booked.
In an industry that has been filled with abuse, I'm afraid our customers are adding these incidents to their reasons why they will never lease again. They indicate they are being treated like your typical "dead beat" in their own words. This reflects poorly on our whole industry.
I have a feeling this could blow into a main event. Any that would like to correspond with me on this matter please feel free to do so.
George J. Wade george@goAFFILIATED.com
AFFILIATED Equipment Financing, Inc.
( American Leasing has great difficulty getting "payoff quotes" and information regarding termination. For the last three days we have been calling about one account and have not received a telephone call back. This is not uncommon to us when a portfolio is "sold" or "moved" or whatever you want to call it. I did suggest to Mr. Wade that he try to reach Jim Merrilees, who is still at Textron, although not directly involved with the servicing of the Nations Credit or Gray Credit portfolio. editor )
VerticalNet (VERT:Nasdaq - news), a business-to-business company, was up 8.9% in early trading. Late Wednesday, the company said it terminated its merger agreement with SierraCities.com (BTOB:Nasdaq - news) due to market conditions. The deal, announced in November, valued SierraCities shares at $7. SierraCities was unchanged at $1.69.
( Wall Street and other investors evidently don't think much of the equipment leasing business--and perhaps why should they? The List to be "up-dated" tomorrow. editor ).
Sierra Cities Closed Wednesday at 1 21/32
Vertical Net closed at 4 15/16 from a high of the year: $148 3/8
And let's not even talk about companies like VerticalNet (VERT), down a whopping 94 percent," says "Money" Earnings preview: business-to-business stocks January 10, 2001 07:45 AM PT by Adam Feuerstein
VerticalNet and SierraCities.com Announce Mutual Termination of Merger Agreement HORSHAM, Pa. and HOUSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 10, 2001--VerticalNet, Inc. (Nasdaq: VERT - news) and SierraCities.com Inc. (Nasdaq: BTOB - news) announced today that, due to current market conditions, they have mutually agreed to terminate their Agreement and Plan of Merger. The termination of the Merger Agreement also terminates VerticalNet's previously announced exchange offer for shares of SierraCities.com common stock, and all shares deposited with VerticalNet's transfer agent pursuant to the exchange offer will be promptly returned.
``We are still very interested in continuing to explore a relationship with SierraCities.com as we search for strategic alternatives for technology licensing and development,'' said VerticalNet President and CEO Mike Hagan.
``SierraCities.com has a wealth of technology and products we believe can benefit the small to medium-sized businesses in the VerticalNet® markets and we look forward to pursuing other opportunities with them in the future,'' said SierraCities.com's President and CEO Thomas Depping. ``We also intend to explore our strategic alternatives with others, including parties who have expressed interest in the possible acquisition of SierraCities.com.''
There can be no assurances that any transaction will occur.
ABOUT VERTICALNET, INC.
VerticalNet, Inc. (www.verticalnet.com) provides end-to-end e-commerce solutions targeted at distinct business segments through three strategic business units: VerticalNet Markets includes 58 industry-specific web sites designed as online vertical trading communities and provides hosted e-commerce and community capabilities for corporate divisions and mid-size businesses; VerticalNet Exchanges focuses on direct material open and spot markets; VerticalNet Solutions builds digital marketplaces for global 2000 customers, consortia and neutral Net market makers. VerticalNet International leverages the Company's three strategic business units to create global Internet B2B marketplaces, offering products and services internationally and partnering with companies that have strong local presence and domain expertise.
ABOUT SIERRACITIES.COM INC.
SierraCities.com is an innovator of technology solutions for online business-to-business financing. The Company's technology platform supports real time funding of e-commerce transactions through one of the most comprehensive online business financing fulfillment solutions available. SierraCities.com's credit technologies enable B2B e-commerce by empowering businesses to complete transactions more quickly, thereby gaining time and cost efficiencies. SierraCities.com's infrastructure solution automates much of the process involved in customer acquisition, application, data retrieval, data warehousing, underwriting, documentation, servicing, collections, funding, auditing, and data mining. For more information, please visit our Web site at www.sierracities.com.
This announcement contains forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties, including those relating to possible future transactions. For such statements, VerticalNet and SierraCities.com claim the protection of the safe harbor for forward-looking statements contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. There can be no assurances that future results will be achieved, and actual results could differ materially from forecasts and estimates. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include risks described in their respective filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Neither VerticalNet nor SierraCities.com assumes any obligation to publicly update or revise any of the forward-looking statements that may be in this announcement.
VerticalNet and NECX.com are registered trademarks and/or trademarks of Vert Tech LLC in the United States and/or other countries. All other trademarks and tradenames appearing in this announcement are the property of their respective owners.
SierraCities.com investor questions regarding the terminated exchange offer can be directed to the information agent at D. F. King & Co., Inc. (1-800-628-8510); in New York call (212-425-1685), or call the SierraCities.com Investor and Media contacts above.
Investor Relations Contact:
Muriel Lange, 215/315-3367
Media Relations Contact:
Nyssa Tussing, 215/315-3710; 917/833-0810
Investor Relations Contact:
Alan Langus, 914-286-6365
Media Relations Contact:
Christopher Katis, 415/296-7383
Bad Day at Black Rock
What a difference one year makes to the other. The actual Millenium was this year, not 2000,everyone was very happy, had cash in their pockets, and the only thing they had to fear was Y2K. Today, we laugh at what we were afraid of then, but we have coins in our pockets and debt on our credit cards. The leasing business was starting to see problems, but not facing them. Perhaps Ron Wagner, on going to run Commerce Security, saw it first, as he in September,1999 decided the deals they were seeing had problems, and the market place was going to change, so he was perhaps the first one to "pull the plug" on small ticket leasing.
Sierra Cities will have great difficulties surviving in this marketplace with their overhead and present portfolio. It also looks like United Capital, Austin, is going the way Unicapital went. This is what we hear from insides:
" No changes since December 15. We have six "funded" transactions. At this point, we still have 3 NSFs and 3 other assigned leases for which we have not rec'd our proceeds. We have paid all our vendors, of course."
name with held
We were lucky in that our sales rep sent back to us all of the transactions we had open in for funding and we portfolioed as I would not put our customers\vendors in a position I would not want to be in. We have made a few mistakes and United was one of them, so I cut my losses as quick as possible and move on, so I have not followed up with them either. If I get a mass email or something I will forward on.
name with held
( These are good evidence why well established leasing companies with a solid following are very important to do business with, and following the list or recommendations of senior colleagues is more important than ever. editor )
GE Capital To Be Exclusive Financing Provider for Point2's Heavy Equipment Marketplace -
STAMFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 11, 2001--GE Capital announced today a marketing agreement with Point2 Internet Systems heavy equipment marketplace at Point2.com (http://www.point2.com).
GE Capital, the financial services unit of General Electric Company will serve as Point2's exclusive financing provider. Under the alliance, Point2.com's 6,000 daily users will have access to the diverse array of financial products and services offered by seven GE Capital businesses through GE Trucking (http://www.getrucking.com) and GE CFO Solutions (http://www.gecfo.com) - GE's newest finance portals.
"By forging this alliance with Point2 we're providing their customers, buyers, dealers and manufacturers of heavy equipment with access to flexible financial solutions," says Steve Poole, General Manager of GE Capital's B2B Portal Initiative. "Users simply enter a few pieces of information and our configurators do all the work - matching their needs with viable financing options."
GETrucking.com was launched in October and offers a comprehensive selection of financial and service solutions for companies' transportation needs. GECFO.com was launched in November and helps busy CFO and financial executives find financial products, services, research and information.
Founded in 1996, Point2 Internet systems has quickly become a leading heavy equipment marketplace on the Internet. Point2 was recently named the #1 e-business in Canada by a Bain and Company study sponsored by Canada's national newspaper, The Globe and Mail. Point2 designs proprietary, patent-pending Internet software for heavy equipment manufacturers such as Caterpillar, John Deere, Komatsu, Case, Hitachi and Volvo. Over 70 global heavy equipment companies at more than 350 branch locations across North America and Europe, rely on Point2 software to power their e-business.
GE Capital, with assets of more than US$345 billion, is a global, diversified financial services company with 28 specialized businesses. A wholly-owned subsidiary of General Electric Company, GE Capital, based in Stamford, CT, provides equipment management, mid-market and specialized financing, specialty insurance and a variety of consumer services, such as car leasing, and credit cards, to businesses and individuals around the world. GE is a diversified services, technology and manufacturing company with operations worldwide.
GE Capital, Stamford
Marcy Brucellaria, 203/961-2281
Dell Financial Services Tops $5 Billion in Lease Originations
ROUND ROCK, Texas--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 11, 2001--Dell Financial Services L.P. (DFS) announced today that it surpassed $5 billion in lease originations since the company's formation less than four years ago, and just five months after passing the $4 billion mark.
Born through a partnership between Dell Computer Corporation (Nasdaq:DELL) and The CIT Group (NYSE:CIT) (TSE:CIT.U.TO) (TSE:CGX.U.TO), DFS has remained one of the fastest-growing financial services organizations in the U.S. since its formation in April 1997.
The U.S. IT leasing industry reached $10.7 billion in 1999 and will grow at an annual 10.6 percent rate to $15.9 billion in 2003, according to a recent study by International Data Corporation for the Equipment Leasing Association. In comparison, DFS experienced a 39 percent annual growth rate over the past calendar year, and increased its share of the IT leasing market from 16.8 percent to 21.2 percent.
"DFS has proven that we can be the best, and that's been made possible because of our people," said Michael Watt, president of DFS. "We are always asking ourselves what we can do differently to make things even better. That attitude is what will help us continue to revolutionize the information technology leasing industry."
Dell Financial Services L.P. is a joint venture between The CIT Group Inc. and Dell Computer Corporation. DFS provides an array of services ranging from simple hardware leases to complex technology finance agreements that may include software, extra support, installation, and asset recovery services. Additional information on DFS is available at www.dellfinancialservices.com. Customers who shop the Dell online store at www.dell.com or call 800/BUY-DELL, can receive a monthly financing price as well as a purchase price on any Dell computer system.
Dell Computer Corporation (Nasdaq:DELL) is the world's leading direct computer systems company, based on revenues of $30 billion for the past four quarters, and is a premier provider of products and services required for customers to build their Internet infrastructures. The company ranks No. 56 on the Fortune 500, No. 154 on the Fortune Global 500 and No. 3 on the Fortune "most admired" lists of companies. Dell designs, manufactures and customizes products and services to customer requirements, and offers an extensive selection of software and peripherals. Information on Dell and its products can be obtained on the World Wide Web at www.dell.com.
Founded in 1908, and with more than $50 billion in managed assets, The CIT Group Inc. (NYSE:CIT) (TSE:CIT.U.TO) (TSE:CGX.U.TO) is the largest publicly held commercial finance organization. The company operates extensively in the United States and Canada with strategic locations in Europe, Latin and South America, and the Pacific Rim. CIT is a leading diversified finance organization offering secured commercial and consumer financing to smaller, middle-market and larger businesses and to individuals through a nationwide distribution network. InformationWeek Magazine ranks CIT No. 2 in its annual survey of the top 500 companies using innovation in information technology. More information on CIT can be found at www.cit.com.
Dell is a trademark of Dell Computer Corporation.
Fortune 500 is a registered trademark of Time Inc.
Dell disclaims any proprietary interest in the marks and names of others.
Dell Financial Services, Austin
News Media Contacts:
Laura Thomas, 512/725-3334
Lynn Tyson, 512/723-1130
Robert Williams, 512/728-7570
Charter One Deploys Brokat for Online Banking
Installed With Brokat's Retail Banking Application, Charter One Offers Customers Free Online Banking 24/7
SAN JOSE, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- In an effort to offer expanded services to its customers, Charter One Financial, Inc. (NYSE: CF) has successfully implemented Brokat's online retail banking suite and now offers free online banking capabilities at www.charterone.com. Brokat (Nasdaq: BROA) (Neuer Markt: BRJ), a leading provider of software for e-Business solutions, has provided Charter One Financial with the software needed to offer its customers the capabilities for free online banking, account transfers and around-the- clock access to all of their Charter One accounts.
Deployed with Brokat's retail banking application, Charter One now provides customers with online access to checking, savings, mortgage and loan accounts 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Charter One customers can now easily access their online accounts and receive a consolidated view of their financial data. Likewise, customers now have the added convenience of conducting a large percentage of their transactions online, ranging from bill presentment and payment to transferring funds between accounts and viewing transaction history and statements.
Charter One has licensed Brokat's browser-based retail suite as well as Brokat's wireless banking and small business banking applications, which it plans to roll out in the months to come.
"Charter One is jumping to a leadership position in online banking services with its latest product launches," commented David Luther, Brokat's vice president of product management. "Having a top-30 U.S. bank as a showcase for Brokat's suite of online banking products is a great confirmation of our strategy to allow both consumers and business customers to safely conduct critical banking transactions anytime, anywhere."
"Free online banking is another example of how Charter One continues to offer high quality financial products and services 24 hours a day, whether via the web, by phone or in a branch office," said Charles John Koch, Charter One's chairman and chief executive. "We are pleased to implement Brokat's technology and have chosen Brokat for its demonstrated leadership and innovation in delivering online banking services to our customers."
About Charter One
Charter One has approximately $33 billion in total assets, making it one of the 30 largest bank holding companies in the country. The bank has more than 420 branch locations in Ohio, Michigan, New York, Massachusetts, and Vermont. The company's diverse product set includes: consumer banking, indirect auto finance, commercial leasing, business lending, commercial real estate lending, mortgage banking and retail investment products. For more information, visit www.charterone.com .
Brokat is a leading provider of software for e-Business solutions. Brokat provides a family of software infrastructure products including rules-driven personalization, mobile payment and transactional platform, as well as applications for Internet banking and brokerage. Brokat customers include over 2,000 corporations worldwide including Allianz, Bank of America, Blue Martini, DaimlerChrysler, T-Motion, Fidelity Investments, Mastercard, IBM, the Swiss Post Office and Sun Microsystems. Brokat also has strategic partnerships with industry leaders including Compaq, Intel, IBM, Siemens and Sun Microsystems. With dual headquarters in San Jose, California and Stuttgart, Germany, Brokat employs over 1300 people in 17 countries. Further information on Brokat and its products can be found online at www.brokat.com .
BROKAT is a trademark of BROKAT AG in the United States and other countries. All other trademarks are property of their respective companies.
CO: Brokat; Charter One Financial, Inc.
IN: CPR MLM FIN
VAN NUYS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 11, 2001--Electro Rent Corporation (NASDAQ:ELRC) announced today that net income for the second quarter of fiscal 2001 ended November 30, 2000 increased 42% to $8.7 million, or $0.35 per diluted share.
This compares to net income of $6.1 million, or $0.24 per diluted share, for the second quarter of fiscal 2000. Revenue for the quarter was $54.5 million versus $61.5 million for the same period last year.
For the six months ended November 30, 2000, net income increased 40% to $17.6 million, or $0.71 per diluted share, from $12.6 million, or $0.50 per diluted share, for the first half of fiscal 2000. Revenue was $111.9 million compared to $124.2 million for last year's first half.
"Electro Rent's profitability is continuing to benefit from lower depreciation and interest expenses, as well as from the success of our efforts to increase the productivity of our asset pool, enhance operating efficiency, and improve the performance of our sales and marketing and service organizations," said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Daniel Greenberg.
Pre-tax income as a percentage of revenue was 26% for this year's second quarter compared to 16% a year earlier and to the all-time high of 27% reached in 1997. Annualized net return on assets rose to 12% for the second quarter compared to 8% a year earlier and to 13% for 1997.
Subsequent to the end of the second quarter, Electro Rent announced on December 13, 2000 that it would receive $20.8 million to fully resolve its closing balance sheet and purchase price disagreements with GE Capital Technology Management Services Corporation (TMS), regarding Electro Rent's acquisition of the TMS computer and test and measurement equipment rental business in November 1997. Greenberg said that the settlement is expected to reduce goodwill associated with the acquisition. He said that the only income statement effects of the settlement, beginning in the third quarter, would be a reduction in the amortization of goodwill and the interest income associated with the cash received.
Debt was entirely eliminated during the second quarter. "Electro Rent's strong cash flow allowed us to pay off more than $250 million of bank debt since November 1997, even in the face of declining revenue. Our cash balance was approximately $31.0 million at December 31, 2000, including the $20.8 million cash payment we received on December 14, 2000 from the settlement with TMS. Since we currently anticipate that our requirements for additional capital spending for new equipment will remain below cash flow for the balance of the fiscal year, cash is likely to continue to accumulate," Greenberg said.
Greenberg attributed the decline in revenue for the second quarter and first half primarily to continued decay of the Company's computer rental and leasing activity. He said that server volume, which had increased substantially, slowed perceptibly, as the effects of the dot-com implosion began to impact business. He said that second quarter sales of used equipment also were lower than last year. Greenberg said that these factors were partially offset by continued modest growth in test and measurement equipment rental revenue.
Electro Rent purchased approximately $22.1 million of new equipment in the second quarter of fiscal 2001 versus $21.8 million a year earlier. At November 30, 2000, the book value of Electro Rent's equipment pool was $179.8 million, compared to $190.1 million at May 31, 2000.
About Electro Rent
Electro Rent Corporation (www.electrorent.com) is the largest nationwide organization devoted to the short-term rental and leasing of personal computers, workstations and general purpose electronic test equipment.
In conjunction with the provisions of the new "Safe Harbor" section of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, this news release may contain forward-looking statements pertaining to future anticipated projected plans, performance and developments, as well as other statements relating to future operations. All such forward-looking statements are necessarily only estimates of future results and there can be no assurance that actual results will not materially differ from expectations. Further information on potential factors which could affect Electro Rent Corporation are included in the company's Form 10Q and Form 10K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
ELECTRO RENT CORPORATION
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME
( did not print as too many complaints about putting all this financial information on line---unless it pertains to a public leasing company ).
AmericasMart.com and UPS Capital Launch Co-branded Credit Card Services
; Provides Buyers and Exhibitors with Convenient and Precise Financial Control
ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 11, 2001--AmericasMart.com, the business-to-business eCommerce venture of the nation's largest gift, home furnishings, area rug and apparel marketplace, now provides corporate purchasing options for AmericasMart/Atlanta Buyers and Exhibitors available through an alliance with UPS Capital Corp., the financial services arm of UPS.
Buyers and Exhibitors can now apply online at www.americasmart.com, as well as in-person at AmericasMart/Atlanta, for the co-branded "AmericasMart.com and UPS Capital MasterCard(R)" credit card, offering convenient purchasing options for corporate accounts with a low interest rate and flexible payment schedules.
Designed for maximum cash-flow management, the AmericasMart.com and UPS Capital MasterCard account offers rapid time online tracking of corporate purchases, the ability to set pre-determined limits on individual spending accounts and access to data for online financial control. Flexible and convenient options include download and integration capabilities for use with financial tracking software, electronic statement and payment capabilities on individually paid accounts, and encrypted data for secure, password-protected transactions. Online account maintenance provides for new card requests or cancellations at any time and cardholders can view their account online with protected access to current and past billing statements.
The AmericasMart.com and UPS Capital MasterCard can be used for online purchases at www.americasmart.com, in AmericasMart/Atlanta showrooms and at 19 million MasterCard-accepted locations worldwide. In addition, AmericasMart/Atlanta and AmericasMart.com Buyers and Exhibitors have the option of offering their employees separate credit cards with individual lines of credit.
"When we unveiled the AmericasMart.com's new eShowroom two months ago, we strengthened our commitment to enable smarter, faster and easier business transactions for our Buyers and Exhibitors," said Joe Farrugia, AmericasMart.com chief executive officer. "Our alliance with UPS Capital to provide world-class transaction-financing services demonstrates the delivery of a major component of AmericasMart.com's corporate strategy to provide end-to-end transaction services. In this competitive business, we are moving forward to deliver highly integrated services including order management, supply chain management, front and back-office integration, customer relation management and Web site hosting to surpass market expectations as the eCommerce venture of the world's No. 1 wholesale market."
"Through this alliance, UPS Capital is fulfilling its mission of enabling businesses to accelerate the velocity of funds through their supply chain, thus improving profitability," said Bob Bernabucci, chief executive officer, UPS Capital. "AmericasMart.com and AmericasMart/Atlanta Buyers and Exhibitors will be able to use this type of financing to facilitate transactions."
AmericasMart.com, with currently more than 290 online Exhibitors, 10,000 registered Buyers and offering more than 38,000 products, recently streamlined its eShowroom, providing the definitive virtual buying experience for wholesale buyers and sellers worldwide enabling smarter, faster and easier business transactions. In addition, AmericasMart/Atlanta annually serves more than 6,000 Exhibitors and 200,000 registered Buyers from every U.S. state and from 72 countries and offers more than 40 years experience. Currently AmericasMart/Atlanta is hosting two of its largest annual markets including the Atlanta International Gift and Home Furnishings Market and the Atlanta International Area Rug Market through January 21, 2001.
AmericasMart.com is an independent digital trading exchange providing eCommerce and informational services for sellers (wholesalers, manufacturers and sales representatives) and buyers (retailers) of AmericasMart/Atlanta. AmericasMart.com is designed as a location for business-to-business, online exchange of goods and services. It allows all parties to conduct eCommerce in an efficient, convenient, cost-effective manner, offering manufacturers, sales representatives and buyers access to 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week, 365 days-a-year business transactions. In addition to the electronic showrooms that are divided into nine product categories for user convenience, AmericasMart.com offers services such as market news, market research and market travel for buyers and sellers during and between markets and trade shows, adding eCommerce efficiency, convenience and reach.
About UPS Capital
UPS Capital Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of UPS (NYSE:UPS). Its mission is to provide a comprehensive menu of integrated financial products and services that enable companies to grow their business. UPS Capital's growing product portfolio is designed to deliver a one-stop solution to the capital needs of any enterprise. In addition to Card Transaction Solutions, UPS Capital also has the following business groups: Equipment Leasing, Distribution Finance, Payment Solutions, Global Trade Finance, and Glenlake Insurance Agency. Founded in 1998, UPS Capital is based in Atlanta, Ga., and resides on the Web at www.upscapital.com.
Edelman PR Worldwide
Paige Hoover, 404/739-0212
Julie Drahos, 404/220-2604
Irene Moore, 404/828-6571