Sub-prime specialist Metris Companies (Direct Merchants Bank) reported Wednesday that its managed credit card loan portfolio increased by $210.3 million during the first quarter, resulting in a portfolio of approximately $9.5 billion at quarter’s end. One year ago, Metris card portfolio stood at $7.4 billion. The issuer added more than 260,000 new credit card accounts during the first quarter, resulting in a total of approximately 4.5 million accounts as of Mar 31. During the fourth quarter, Metris signed up 300,000 cardholders. First quarter credit card charge volume increased 30% to $2.0 billion. However the managed net charge-off rate was 10.6% for the first quarter, compared to 9.7% percent for 4Q/00 and 9.8% for the first quarter of 2000. The managed delinquency rate was 8.4% at Mar 31, compared to 8.3% at Dec 31 and 7.7% for 1Q/00. In the first quarter, Metris also added 830,000 new enhancement relationships, resulting in active enhancement services members of 5.9 million. Metris markets enhancement services to several major U.S. credit card issuers. Metris shares rose yesterday from $22.54 on Tuesday’s close to $26.31 at yesterday’s close. For additional info on Metris 1Q/00 performance and other historical data visit CardData ([www.carddata.com]).