March Winds

Consumer credit remains strong so far this year for both the revolving and automobile segments. According to March consumer credit figures released by the Federal Reserve, Thursday afternoon, revolving credit grew at an annual rate of 1.3% compared to a 0.5% rate for last March. Meanwhile automobile consumer credit is roaring with an annual growth rate of 8.4% for March compared to a -3.6% last year. At the end of March, American consumers were $1.242 trillion in debt, exclusive of home mortgages.

                                 REVOLVING CREDIT HISTORICAL
Mar98  Feb98   Jan98   Dec97   Nov97  Oct97  Sep97 Aug97 Jul97 Jun97    
%GRWTH: 1.3%    8.4     4.7     2.3    -2.1   10.0    6.2 8.0   9.4   4.2           
$OWED:  $537.2  536.6   532.9   530.8  529.8  530.7   526.4   523.7 520.2  516.2      
              Source: Federal Reserve; revised figures as of 05/07/98


ECS Names Marketing SVP

Electronic Card Systems, Inc., (ECS) has appointed Ryan O’Connor as Senior Vice President of Marketing, it was announced Thursday.  ECS is one of the nation’s leading providers of merchant credit card accounts, specializing in the electronic commerce industry.  ECS develops and markets customized merchant credit card processing solutions that typically include real-time processing, risk management and reporting systems for Internet retailers and other electronic commerce merchants.

O’Connor comes to ECS with a strong background in managing national marketing campaigns for merchant credit card processing and risk management systems.  Immediately prior to joining ECS, O’Connor was Executive Vice President in charge of sales and operations at Card Payment Systems, Inc., a New York-based Independent Service Organization.

Previously, O’Connor was Vice President of Business Development for Risk Management Systems,. Inc., and its affiliate, Applied Data Services, Inc., in Los Angeles.  Risk Management Systems grew from a start-up into a leading source of risk management and information systems for major national credit card processors during his tenure.

A native of Los Angeles, O’Connor is a graduate of Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, CA, with degrees in Business Management and Finance.

Reporting to ECS Chief Executive Officer Charles S. Crawford, O’Connor will be responsible for all of the Company’s marketing programs, including in- house sales, the network of Independent Service Organizations and independent sales representatives, trade show participation, advertising and strategic sales and marketing alliances.

“Ryan O’Connor is exceptionally well-equipped to help us move forward as the leading source of customized merchant accounts for electronic commerce and internet-based businesses, Crawford said.  “He has solid national visibility in the credit card industry and possesses a keen understanding of the importance of providing merchants with innovative, value-added services that enable them to thrive.”

Electronic Card Systems is affiliated with R.J. Gordon & Company, a four- year veteran of the Inc. 500 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies and a leading source of innovation and technology for the electronic commerce industry.


Discover Connection

EarthLink Network recieved its largest partnership yesterday in a marketing alliance with the Discover Card. The service, called ‘Discover Connection’, offers exclusive features and awards to Discover cardholders who sign up for EarthLink’s ‘TotalAccess Internet’ service. ‘Discover Connection’ will feature EarthLink’s $19.95 monthly unlimited Internet service, which will be promoted  through credit card billing inserts and on Discover’s web site. Cardholders who register for an EarthLink account through ‘Discover Connection’ will also receive additional mailboxes, personalized and localized content through Planet Direct, and a five percent ‘Cashback Bonus Award’ from Discover Card. The Discover Card Web site allows Cardmembers to view their last six monthly statements and current transaction information online. Consumers can also apply for the card online.


Garden Way Card

Green Tree Retail Services and Garden Way Inc. reached agreements yesterday for a private-label credit card program to service Garden Way’s consumer direct and independent dealer channels. Garden Way manufactures ‘TROY-BILT’ rototillers and chipper vacs and Bolens riding lawn tractor. Under terms of the agreement Green Tree will acquire Garden Way’s current card portfolio. Green Tree will offer Garden Way cardholders faster customer service, POS credit decisions and targeted promotions. Green Tree now has 11 major manufacturers and retailers that are using its credit card services, and has issued over 1 million credit cards with customer receivables standing at nearly $500 million.


New Data Mining Tool

San Diego-based Salford Systems introduced ‘CART’, a user-friendly classification-and-regression-tree software. ‘CART’ produces the reliable classification and prediction models for applications such as profiling best customers, targeting direct mailings, detecting telecommunications and credit-card fraud, and managing credit risk. The most important data-mining business applications, such as classification and predictive modeling, can be accomplished using just ‘CART’.  The data-mining tool uses an intuitive, Windows-based interface. The software also uses historical data to discover patterns, trends and relationships, and it automatically generates high-performance predictive models that can be applied to new data. For experienced data analysts, ‘CART’ provides the advanced features such as:  multiple automatic self-validation procedures; adjustable misclassification penalties; intelligent surrogates for missing values; eight choices for tree-growing criteria;  multiple-tree, committee-of-expert methods, or bootstrap aggregation; and a complete programming language with flow control for on-the-fly data manipulation


Taking Stock

Capital One announced a new stock option grant to 100% of its more than 6,000 employees.  Under the ‘1998 OneGrant’ program, once the options vest, associates can purchase 50 shares of Capital One stock at $95.125 per share, the fair market price as of April 30.  The OneGrant is similar to the Cap One’s ‘1995 OneGrant’, which was given to all Capital One employees in March 1995, with a then market price of $19 per share.


First Data Analytics Prez

First Data Corporation today announced that Jeff Price, 36, has been named president of First Data Analytics, formerly known as Decision Support.

In his new role, Price will oversee the unit that provides analytical services, database modeling/scoring, and value-added products to card issuers, deposit banks and other clients with direct marketing applications.

“I am confident that Jeff’s experience and skills will be instrumental in building First Data Analytics into a leader in modeling services,” said John Chaney, group president of Houston-based First Data Information Management Group ¯ which provides strategic direction and management oversight for the unit. ” First Data Analytics is an integral part of the Information Management Group and our efforts to provide critical risk management and credit decision-making tools for our clients.”

Prior to joining First Data, Price was vice president of marketing for Experian, Inc., with responsibility for product management and development of the consumer credit reporting system. He also has experience in consumer batch services and modeling and analytical services. Price holds a bachelor’s degree from Central Missouri State University and an MBA from the University of Illinois.

First Data Corporation

() is one of the world’s leading providers of transaction processing services — credit, debit and pre-paid card processing; payment systems; electronic commerce and information-based services to both businesses and consumers. In partnership with clients, primarily financial institutions, and a worldwide Western Union agent network, First Data processes the information that allows consumers to pay for goods and services by check or card or any form of payment, except cash – at any point of sale, whether at the retail counter or on the Internet. And, through Western Union, First Data is the global leader spanning more than 150 countries in money transfer services that are convenient, fast and reliable. With an international employee base of more than 36,000, First Data delivers innovative solutions and quality service to a broad base of clients and consumers all needing to transact business – anytime, anywhere.


Mac-Gray Posts Strong Growth

Mac-Gray Corporation, a leading provider of card and coin-operated laundry equipment service to the multi-housing industry, announced yesterday that its pro forma tax adjusted net income for the first quarter of 1998 was 64 percent higher than the comparable year-earlier total, and that revenues increased by 24 percent.

The company had pro forma tax adjusted net income of $1.9 million, or $0.15 per share, and revenues of $28.0 million in this year’s first quarter. This compares with pro forma tax adjusted net income of $1.2 million, or $0.14 per share, and pro forma revenues of $22.7 million  a year earlier.  The average weighted number of common shares outstanding increased by more than 60 percent between the two quarters as a result of Mac-Gray’s October, 1997 initial public offering.

Pro forma income from operations increased by 34 per cent, to $3.5 million last quarter from $2.6 million in the first quarter of 1997.

The company is reporting on a pro forma basis to reflect its March 12, 1998 merger with Intirion Corporation in a pooling of interests, non-recurring costs and expense reductions associated with the merger, and Mac-Gray’s conversion from “S” corporation to “C” corporation status in October, 1997.

The numbers required under the applicable standards, which do not take these three factors into account on a comparable basis, are presented in the table accompanying this release.

Stewart MacDonald, chairman and chief executive officer, said the fact that the company’s net income increased even more rapidly than revenue in the first quarter is fresh evidence that Mac-Gray continues to do a good job of managing its business and its assets in the midst of rapid growth.

“When performance is compared on an apples-to-apples basis, our results show continued impressive performance in building value for the shareholders of Mac-Gray,” Mr. MacDonald said.  “We are also very excited about what our recent major acquisitions — Intirion, Amerivend and Copico — bring to the company.”

Since the end of the first quarter, Mac-Gray has completed the acquisition of:

— Amerivend Corporation, the largest provider of card- and coin-operated laundry equipment in Florida, with additional laundry route business in the Atlanta market and Maytag commercial laundry equipment distributorships in Alabama, Georgia and Florida.  It had 1997 revenues of $18.6 million.

— Copico, Inc., the major provider of card- and coin-operated reprographics equipment and services to the academic and public library markets in New England, New York and Florida, with revenues of $7.1 million in its last fiscal year.

Mac-Gray, founded in 1927, in addition to being one of the nation’s leading providers of laundry equipment and service to the multi-housing industry, is the industry leader in smart-card operated laundry equipment and convenience, which eliminates the need for coins.

Intirion Corporation produces the MicroFridge family of compact refrigerators/freezers with microwave ovens.  MicroFridge is the leading choice of college and university housing officers for on-campus installation, and is used as well on military bases and in assisted-living facilities and the hotel/motel markets.

Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995:  The statements contained in this release which are not historical facts, such as those containing future financial performance and growth, are forward looking statements that are subject to change based on various factors which may be beyond the company’s control.  Accordingly, the future performance and financial results of the company may differ materially from those expressed or implied in any such forward looking statements.  Such factors include, but are not limited to, those described in the company’s fillings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as various factors related to the transaction described in this release, including the costs of the integrating their business and the realization of synergy anticipated with respect to the transaction.

                              MAC-GRAY CORPORATION
                         CONSOLIDATED INCOME STATEMENT
                    (In thousands, except per share data)
    The accompanying notes are an integral part of these financial statements

                                       (A)           (B)
                                    Pro-forma     Pro-forma        (C)
                                   3 mos. ended  3 mos. ended 3 months ended
                                    March 31,     March 31,      March 31,
                                       1998         1997       1998     1997
                                   (unaudited)   (unaudited)
    Revenue                           $27,989     $22,658    $27,989  $27,237

    Total costs of revenue:            20,276      16,090     20,276   19,656
      Operating expenses:
      General and administrative        1,732       1,647      1,798    1,701
      Sales and marketing               2,286       2,136      2,409    2,522
      Depreciation                        181         167        181       17
      Cost of merger                                             884
        Total operating expenses        4,199(A)    3,950      5,272    4,401

    Income from operations              3,514       2,618      2,441    3,178
      Interest and other expenses,
        & other income, net              (295)       (652)      (295)    (693)

    Income before provision for
      income taxes                      3,219       1,966      2,146    2,485

      Provision for income
        taxes                          (1,288)  (D)  (166)    (1,154)    (178)

    Net income                         $1,931      $1,800       $992   $2,307
    Accretion and dividends on
      redeemable preferred stock          $62        $124        $62     $161

    Income available to common
      stockholders                     $1,869      $1,676       $930   $2,146

    Net income per common share         $0.15       $0.22      $0.08    $0.28

    Weighted average common
      shares outstanding               12,188       7,554     12,188    7,554

    Net income per common share
      — assuming dilution              $0.15       $0.22      $0.07    $0.28

    Weighted average common shares
      outstanding —
       assuming dilution               12,657       7,686     12,657    7,686

    Unaudited pro forma tax adjusted data
      Income before provision for
        income taxes                               $2,485     $3,219   $1,966

      Provision for income taxes                     (802)    (1,288)(D) (787)
      Pro forma tax adjusted net income            $1,683     $1,931   $1,179
      Pro forma tax adjusted net income
        available to common stockholders           $1,522     $1,869   $1,055
      Pro forma tax adjusted net income
        available to common stockholders
        per common share                            $0.20      $0.15    $0.14
      Pro forma tax adjusted net income
        available to common stockholders
        per common share — assuming dilution       $0.20      $0.15    $0.14

A.  Excludes the direct costs ($884) of the March 12th merger with Intirion and also excludes actual first quarter costs ($189) associated with nine individuals whose employment was terminated as a result of the merger.

B.  “Pro forma three months ended March 31, 1997” represents the actual results for January through March for both Mac-Gray and Intirion.

C.  Accounting standards require that we combine the first quarter in each company’s fiscal year for 1997.  Therefore, the “three months ended” periods are:

        For 1998:                         For 1997:
        Jan-Mar ’98 for both corporations Jan-Mar ’97 for Mac-Gray Corporation
                                          July-Sept. ’96 for Intirion Corp.

Due to this requirement, the company has elected to disclose the combined January through March periods for 1997, in the pro forma column, in order to make the comparison from year to year more meaningful to investors.

D.  The provision for income taxes is presented as both actual, and as if it were a 40% effective rate, for the purpose of this pro forma.  Mac-Gray was an “S” corporation for Jan-Mar. ’97


Key Bank Adds New ATM Mark

TransAlliance, operator of the West Coast Exchange Network and provider of third-party processing services, announced that Key Bank, N.A. has added The Exchange mark to 230 ATMs in Colorado, Utah and Idaho, meaning more convenient access to accounts for cardholders throughout the West.

Key Bank, N.A. added The Exchange to 133 ATMs in Colorado, 55 ATMs in Utah and 42 ATMs in Idaho.

“We are pleased to be able to offer ATM cardholders greater access to their asset accounts,” said Denny D. Dumler, President and CEO of TransAlliance. “The Exchange network continues to rapidly expand throughout the West, so cardholders are able to access their accounts in more locations than ever.”

“Adding The Exchange to these ATMs complements our overall ATM strategy,” said Jack J. Kucler, Senior Vice President at Key Bank, N.A.. “This addition complements our strategic partnership with TransAlliance in the West.”

Cleveland, Ohio-based Key Bank, N.A., with assets of approximately $73 billion, is one of the country’s top 10 ATM owners, and has a presence in 46 states.

TransAlliance provides a wide variety of EFT processing services for financial institutions throughout the Western Region of the U.S. and Canada, including The Exchange /ACCEL branded network; MasterMoney and Visa Check debit card programs; cardholder authorization services for ATM, POS, and electronic benefits transfer (EBT) transactions; shared branching; home banking & bill payment services; direct connect and dial-up ATM driving; card production; and ATM servicing.


Cap One Receives Local Award

The Greater Richmond, Virginia Technology Council presented Capital One Financial Corporation the Impact Award in recognition of the local employer’s great impact on the Greater Richmond community.

“GRTC is proud to recognize local employers who share a vision of Central Virginia’s future as a growth center for technology and are making a difference in the community,” said Bob Stolle, the Executive Director of the Greater Richmond Technology Council.  “Capital One is that company.”

While accepting the award on behalf of Capital One’s more than 6,000 associates, Capital One President Nigel Morris said, “Here in our home base of Richmond, we have built an infrastructure that aligns technology with our business strategy.  Our talented associates, state-of-the-art facilities and tremendous growth are making a positive impact in the community.  This award recognizes our success, and we vow to continue to innovate and forge alliances to make Richmond an even better place to live and work.”

Earlier this year, Capital One announced plans to hire 2,000 new associates worldwide in 1998.  The majority of those associates will work in the Richmond facilities and the new Chesterfield facility scheduled to open in August of this year.  The company is ranked as the fourth largest employer in the area with more than 4,000 associates in Richmond.

Capital One Financial Corporation

([][1]) is a financial services company whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank and Capital One, F.S.B., offer consumer lending products and collectively had 12.7 million customers and $14 billion in managed loans outstanding at March 31, 1998, and are among the largest providers of MasterCard and Visa credit cards in the world.  Capital One is a proud sponsor of the 1998 World Congress on Information Technology.



IVI Net Earnings Up 141%

International Verifact reported Wednesday its results for the quarter ended March 31, 1998.


–  Consolidated revenue at record levels, up 25% over 1997     –  Revenue from U.S. and International markets up 127%     –  Gross margin steady at 34%     –  Net earnings up 141%     –  Working capital increased to $26.2 million

Revenue for the quarter ended March 31, 1998 was $19.1 million, a 25% increase over the $15.3 million recorded in the first quarter of 1997. This growth is attributable to the continuing success of IVI’s point-of-sale (“POS”) products, including check readers, in the United States, and the beginning recognition of the company’s smart card products in Latin America. In the United States, 1998 first quarter sales of IVI’s terminal products rose 253% over first quarter sales in 1997 due to continuing shipments to Wal- Mart, Giant Eagle and Concord EFS. Check reader sales also increased by 145% over 1997 on the strength of sales to Albertson’s, and through IVI’s new reseller distribution channel of Novatek and TASQ Technology.

Net earnings for the quarter ended March 31, 1998 rose 141% to $968,000 or $0.11 per share, one of the highest ever achieved in the first quarter, compared with $401,000 or $0.05 per share in 1997.

Since December 31, 1997, working capital increased by $1.2 million to $26.2 million at March 31, 1998. While cash and marketable securities decreased by $6.0 million to $10.1 million at March 31, 1998, this was offset by a corresponding $6.8 million increase in accounts receivable. The high receivables balance at quarter end was the result of significant shipments of products in the month of March, combined with timing of collection of accounts past due. Subsequent to quarter end, approximately $7 million in receivables was collected, thereby reducing the accounts receivable outstanding and increasing cash and marketable securities accordingly.

L. Barry Thomson, President and CEO of IVI, said, “We are extremely pleased with our continuing success in the U.S. marketplace in the first quarter, and in particular, the progress shown in Latin America which was the result of hard work and effort carried out during 1997 in introducing new products to that region. IVI has always maintained that the long-term success of this company must come from growth in markets outside of Canada. One goal evidencing such growth would be to achieve more than 50% of total revenue from non-Canadian sources. In recent years, IVI had taken a number of steps to ignite this growth, and today, we have achieved our benchmark for non-Canadian growth. Further initiatives planned or to be implemented are expected to sustain this growth in the future.”

Recent Developments

Mr. Thomson commented that word of IVI’s reputation for quality and service is spreading beyond the Canadian market. This has led to the recently announced distribution agreement with TASQ Technology of Rocklin, California, who is the largest outsourcing provider of information systems, inventory management services and Internet solutions to the credit card processing industry in the United States. This relationship is expected to improve IVI’s distribution and service to customers and market areas previously not economical for IVI to cover directly.

Furthermore, the understanding of customers’ needs, and providing appropriate and cost effective solutions to these needs, has allowed IVI to successfully market its products in developing marketplaces, such as the recent contracts, valued in aggregate in excess of US$2.5 million, to provide smart card terminals to customers in Latin America.


The next several months will be very important for IVI, its shareholders and its customers. As we end the chapter on IVI, we begin another as IVI Checkmate Corp., an organization that is expected to form on consummation of a merger with Checkmate Electronics, which will be more effective and efficient and better able to compete with the two largest companies in our industry. With our alliance to Ingenico S.A. – who recently announced their alliance with De La Rue PLC of United Kingdom, the largest manufacturer of currency and securities worldwide, and a major manufacturer of magnetic stripe and smart cards – we believe the IVI Checkmate/Ingenico approach of doing business to be strong and sound. Through mergers, alliances and acquisitions, we are building an organization based on solid, local knowledge and presence in the different marketplaces in which we operate, while at the same time, building an organization structure that allows the cost efficiencies which result from global manufacturing. IVI Checkmate is expected to continue to build on its expertise, and make the necessary commitment and investment to ensure that we not only stay abreast of new industry trends, but in many cases we set them. This will give our customers the confidence that they are installing a solution that not only meets the needs to today, but will protect their investment into the future.

IVI is engaged in the design, development and sale of electronic payments solutions for retailers, financial institutions, governments and other businesses. IVI’s hardware and software products include point-of-sale debit/credit/EFT/EBT terminals, check readers, smart card readers, POS printers and secure PIN entry devices. Additional Company information is available on the Company’s website at [][1].

    as at March 31, 1998 and December 31, 1997
    (unaudited in thousands of Canadian dollars)

                                                    March 31      December 31
                                                      1998            1997

    Current assets
    Cash and marketable securities                 $  10,134       $  16,090
    Accounts receivable                               18,935          12,098
    Inventories                                        9,202           8,408
    Other                                              1,109             604
                                                  ———–     ———–
                                                      39,380          37,200

    Capital assets                                     3,170           3,451
    Other assets                                       9,480           8,845
    Goodwill                                             890             917
                                                  ———–     ———–

                                                   $  52,920       $  50,413
                                                  ———–     ———–

    Current liabilities
    Accounts payable and accrued liabilities       $  12,581       $  11,852
    Deferred revenue                                     563             298
    Current portion of capital lease obligations          11              54
                                                  ———–     ———–
                                                      13,155          12,204

    Long term capital lease obligations                    –              33
    Minority interest                                     15              75
                                                  ———–     ———–
                                                      13,170          12,312

    Shareholders’ equity                              39,750          38,101
                                                  ———–     ———–

                                                   $  52,920       $  50,413
                                                  ———–     ———–

    for the three months ended March 31
    (unaudited in thousands of Canadian dollars,
      except per share amounts)

                                                      1998            1997

    Revenue                                        $  19,111       $  15,272
    Cost of sales                                     12,651          10,009
                                                  ———–     ———–
    Gross margin                                       6,460           5,263
                                                  ———–     ———–

    Selling, administration and general                3,562           3,273
    Research and development                           1,358           1,293
    Depreciation and amortization                        810             494
                                                  ———–     ———–
                                                       5,730           5,060
                                                  ———–     ———–

    Earnings before interest and minority interest       730             203

    Interest and other income                             73              94
    Gain on sale of marketable securities                136               –
    Minority interest                                     29             104
                                                  ———–     ———–

   Net earnings for the period                    $     968       $     401
                                                  ———–     ———–

    Net earnings per share                         $    0.11       $    0.05
                                                  ———–     ———–

    Weighted average common shares
      outstanding (thousands)                          9,199           8,679
                                                  ———–     ———–

    for the three months ended March 31
    (unaudited in thousands of Canadian dollars)

                                                      1998            1997

    Cash provided by (used in)
    Operating activities
    Net earnings (loss)                            $     968       $     401
    Non-cash items:
      Depreciation and amortization                      816             494
      Minority interest                                  (29)           (104)
                                                  ———–     ———–
      Cash from operations                             1,755             791

    Change in non-cash working capital                (7,137)         (1,703)
                                                  ———–     ———–
                                                      (5,382)           (912)
                                                  ———–     ———–

    Cash provided by (used in)
    Financing activities
    Issuance of common shares                            759             336
    Change in capital lease obligations                  (77)             (6)
                                                  ———–     ———–
                                                         682             330
                                                  ———–     ———–

    Cash used in investment activities
    Purchase of capital assets                          (105)           (296)
    Capitalization of development costs                 (667)           (526)
    Acquisition of BancTec assets                       (449)              –
    Change in other assets                               (35)             71
                                                  ———–     ———–
                                                      (1,256)           (751)
                                                  ———–     ———–

    Net change in cash and marketable securities      (5,956)         (1,333)
    Cash and marketable securities
      – beginning of period                           16,090          14,443
                                                  ———–     ———–
    Cash and marketable securities
      – end of period                              $  10,134       $  13,110
                                                  ———–     ———–
                                                  ———–     ———–



One Biz Card

According to a recent MasterCard/First Chicago NBD  study, 64% of companies said they would find value in having one card that combines the functions of a purchasing, fleet and T&E card. The companies indicated utilities and services (29%), T&E (22%) and fleet (13%) as the expenses they would most like to pay for with their purchasing cards. According to the survey, 57% of respondents stated that purchasing cards are a key part of their day-to-day operations. The survey revealed that while more than half (53%) of the respondents’ organizations have restructured their purchasing departments as a result of purchasing card programs, only 45% have a process in place to measure the savings yielded by card program use. Among the other survey findings: 59% of those surveyed estimated yearly purchasing card transactions to exceed $1 million;  50% of primary users of purchasing cards in companies are clerical and administrative staff;  34% of companies surveyed use the purchasing card for fuel, hardware and industrial supplies, auto services and parts, and larger transactions;  24% purchase office supplies with their purchasing cards and 22% use it for maintenance and repair. First Chicago NBD is introducing its ‘one-card solution’ commercial card this month.