ECHO 3Q/02

CA-based Electronic Clearing House reported revenues for the quarter ending September 30th of $8.6 million, a 9.5% increase from $7.8 million in the same period last year. The net loss for the quarter was $207,000, as compared to a loss of $37,000 in the same quarter of 2001. The net loss was attributable to a combination of factors, including a write-down of $80,000 in inventory, increased expenses related to the development of the “Visa POS Check Services” program, higher net interest expense and lower gross margin. The processor also announced that it named Alex Seltzer as CIO and COO. For complete details on ECHO’s 3Q/02 report visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1]).

[1]: http://www.carddata.com

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AmEx Donation Site

American Express has launched a new online giving portal to link cardholders with more than 800,000 charities. According to a new American Express survey of 800 general consumers, 76% of Americans plan to make a charitable contribution this holiday season. And, despite the economy, 84% plan to contribute the same or more this year than last. The average charitable donation this year is expected to be $125.

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GEMPLUS ADJUSTMENTS

After a weekend meeting in London, Gemplus is reportedly near the
execution of a plan to cut more than 1,000 jobs after posting a third
quarter net loss of nearly $40 million. The company is also looking to
patch up discord among its board members and management staff. Major
shareholder, Texas Pacific Group, is pushing for new board members against
the blessing of other shareholders including Dassault family and Gemplus
founder Marc Lassus. Lassus recently agreed to sell his shares in Gemplus
to Groupe SAGEM. With this purchase, Sagem will own about 10% of the
capital of Gemplus. The weekend also meeting also challenged the new
leadersip of CEO Alex Mandl. Gemplus hired Mandl on September 9th. Mandl
was the former Chairman/CEO of Teligent between 1996 and 2001, following a
four stint at AT&T, where worked his way up to President/COO. There was
some controversy between Gemplus board members over the selection of Mandl.
The debate centered on Mandl’s previous ties with the Central Intelligence
Agency. Mandl belonged to the board of trustees of In-Q-Tel, a nonprofit
organization set up by the CIA in late 1999. In-Q-Tel’s purpose was to keep
track of Internet technology on behalf of the CIA. Some board members were
concerned that Mandl’s CIA ties could affect its ability to sell its
product and services to some countries. Dow Jones reports that Mandl may be
considering a salary reduction to appease shareholders.

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FIBI POSTILION

Mosaic Software and EDS Israel have teamed to supply First International
Bank of Israel with a “Postilion” solution to manage their ATM Network. The
“Postilion” system will replace the First International Bank of Israel’s
current EFT Switch, and will be used to drive and monitor the bank’s ATM
network. The new system will help the First International Bank of Israel to
increase its security control and will enable the bank to support different
types of ATMs from different vendors simultaneously. The First
International Bank of Israel, a member of the international Safra banking
group, is the fourth largest commercial bank in Israel. It operates via 90
branches throughout Israel, and offers a full range of financial services.
The Bank has three main banking subsidiaries in Israel: Poaley Agudat
Israel Bank, a commercial bank with 9 branches which caters mostly to the
ultra-Orthodox community, and First International Mortgage Bank of Israel
and Atzmaut Bank, both of which are mortgage banks. It also operated two
overseas subsidiaries: FIBI Bank (UK) headquartered in London, and FIBI
Bank (Switzerland) headquartered in Zurich.

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INFINEON CHINA

Munich-based Infineon Technologies AG and Shanghai-based Semiconductor
Manufacturing International Corporation have sealed a deal to cooperate on
the production of standard memory chips. Under the terms of the agreement,
Infineon will transfer its 0.14-µm DRAM trench technology to SMIC, with an
option for future transfer of its 0.11-µm technology. The increase in
capacity from SMIC will help to bolster output from Infineon’s
international cluster of DRAM production sites, which comprise the
company-owned production facilities in Dresden, Germany, and Richmond,
Virginia, plants in Taiwan operated by Winbond, and the recently announced
production joint venture with Nanya, among others. Following the ramp up of
the SMIC facility, the cooperation will enable Infineon to increase its
overall capacity by around 20,000 wafer starts per month by 2005.

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Netzee Dissolves

Atlanta-based Netzee has entered into an agreement to sell substantially all of its assets for $10.4 million in cash to Certegy and to liquidate/dissolve Netzee. InterCept, owns 28% of Netzee’s common stock and, jointly with John Harland and Co., provides Netzee with a line of credit. As a result of the transaction, InterCept anticipates that it will record a one-time charge of approximately $6.0 to $6.5 million in the fourth quarter. Netzee provided financial institutions with a suite of Internet-based products and services, including full-service Internet banking, bill payment, cash management, Internet commerce services, custom Web design and hosting, branded portal design, targeted marketing and implementation and marketing services. Netzee was formed in 1999 as a subsidiary of InterCept, and as the successor to a company founded in 1996. Netzee became a public company in November 1999. The parties expect the transaction to close on or about January 15th.

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Eckerd’s Senior Rewards

The Eckerd Corporation says its is expanding its “Senior Rewards Card” loyalty card program to all 422 Texas locations. Seniors can enroll in the Senior Rewards Card program at any Texas Eckerd pharmacy effective Monday, December 9th. To begin earning cash back, eligible customers simply fill out an enrollment form and receive the Card, ready for use during the same visit and future visits. There is no membership fee and the Card balance can be accrued or spent, as the customer desires.

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Gemplus Restructuring

Gemplus confirmed this morning it is cutting about 1,000 employees, 483 of whom are in France. The company says its manufacturing, G&A, and most other parts of the business will also be impacted by the cost-cutting. The smart card manufacturer says the telecommunication and banking markets are becoming more competitive putting pressure on Gemplus’ profitability. This is further compounded by the emergence of new low cost manufacturers, especially in Asia. Gemplus says in France, the restructuring plan will not lead to any site closures and the volumes manufactured will remain comparable with 2002. Furthermore, the core of Gemplus R&D will remain in France, notably with the recent opening of its technological center in La Ciotat. The program is expected to deliver savings in the range of 100 million euros for the full year. Including the 2002 restructuring plan, totals savings should exceed 200 million euros, the full benefit of which is expected to be seen in 2004. For complete details on Gemplus 3Q/02 results visit CardData ([www.carddata.com][1])

[1]: http://www.carddata.com

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