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Sept. 5, 2005 – Finance Digest

September 5, 2005
Filed under Features

Giant Motorsports 2Q Sales Up 57%
Giant Motorsports Inc., Salem, Ohio, reported net sales for its second quarter ended June 30, 2005, of $35.8 million, up from $22.7 million for the same period in 2004. Second quarter net income was $1.09 million, or 10 cents per diluted share, compared to net income of $206,119, or 2 cents per diluted share, for the second quarter 2004.
Giant has two wholly owned subsidiaries, Andrews Cycles in Salem and Chicago Cycles in Chicago. The company acquired its Chicago store in May 2004 then moved it to a new 95,000 sq. ft. facility in April 2005.
The sales results reflect the acquisition of Chicago Cycle and the response to the new store location, Giant President Greg Haehn said in a prepared statement.
“Our new flagship superstore in Chicago continues to impress customers; and as we fine tune the merchandise mix with 800 motorcycles on display and enhance the showroom’s visual impact we see exciting growth opportunities.”
Giant Motorsports is a multi-brand retailer for motorcycles, ATVs, utility vehicles and scooters.

GE to Acquire E*TRADE Unit
GE Consumer Finance, the consumer lending unit of General Electric Company, said it plans to acquire E*TRADE Consumer Finance Corporation, an affiliate of E*TRADE FINANCIAL Corp., which provides consumer financing solutions for powersports vehicles, RVs and marine products.
The acquisition includes operations in Irvine, Calif., and Clearwater, Fla. and adds approximately 200 employees. It is expected to add $2 billion in annual loan volume to GE Consumer Finance’s Retail Sales Finance business, according to GE.
GE Retail Sales Finance, based in Kettering, Ohio, is part of GE Consumer Finance and provides private label credit card programs, marketing, installment lending and financial services to more than 200 regional and national clients in multiple industries.
With $150 billion in assets, GE Consumer Finance, Stamford, Conn., is a leading provider of credit services to consumers and retailers in 47 countries around the world.
The deal is subject to regulatory approval, but the companies expect to close the sale this year.

HSBC, Polaris Modify Relationship
Polaris Industries Inc., Medina, Minn., and HSBC Bank Nevada, (formerly Household Bank, N.A.) have negotiated a new multi-year contract.
Under the agreement, which took effect Aug.1, 2005, provides for income to be paid to HSBC will begin to manage the Polaris private label credit card program under the StarCard label.
“This new structure will allow Polaris to substantially reduce the risk associated with our retail credit program while maintaining the current income potential of the business,” said Mike Malone, Polaris CFO.

BMW Financial Lauded by J.D. Power
BMW Financial Services, a BMW Group company that provides financial services to buyers of BMW brand vehicles, including motorcycles, has been ranked highest in dealer satisfaction with both prime retail credit and retail leasing in the J.D. Power and Associates Dealer Financing Satisfaction Study. It is the second consecutive year BMW Financial Services has received the honor.
In the retail leasing category, the company placed at the top of all four retail leasing factors: offering, application/approval process, personnel, and lease-end termination.
In the prime retail credit category, BMW FS was highest on three of four prime retail credit factors and leads the industry on speed of funding and consistency of credit decisions. Captives, in general showed improvement in this area due to strong performance in credit personnel, application/approval process and termination policy.

Cycle Country 3Q Earnings Drop
Cycle Country Accessories Corp., Milford, Iowa., manufacturer of ATV accessories, saw its earnings for the third quarter ended June 30, 2005, drop to $29,554 on sales of $3.3 million, compared to earnings of $195,407 on sales of $4,067,499 for the same period in 2004.
Company officials said the downturn in sales resulted from dealers returning to seasonal buying patterns and management’s increased inventories to meet anticipated demand for the fourth quarter.
The decrease in revenues during the third quarter was mainly attributable to a 19% decrease in sales for Cycle Country’s ATV accessories business, a 37% decrease in sales for its lawn and garden business, and a 16% decrease in its wheel cover business, compared to the same quarter last year, the company reported.
Cycle Country’s sales to U.S. distributors and OEM customers during the quarter were off 18.1% compared to the same period in 2004. Sales to its international distributors declined 22%.
While third quarter results of fiscal 2005 did not meet management’s baseline growth projections, Ron Hickman, president and CEO of Cycle Country, said that the integration of Simonsen Iron Works, Inc., Cycle Country’s largest supplier, is starting to show increases to gross profit due to more efficiency in the manufacturing process and better scheduling of production.
“A few of our largest distributors indicate that their July orders for Cycle Country product are up 40%-50% over last year,” Hickman said. “Distributors are indicating low levels of inventory of Cycle Country product at dealer and warehouse locations.” The company expects “very strong truckload orders from our distributors for August and September deliveries.”
For the nine-month period ended June 30, 2005, Cycle Country reported earnings of $575,960 on sales of $11.7 million, down from $1,064,530 on sales of $15.1 million last year.

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