Wavetech, Inc. today announced that it has entered into merger talks with three privately held companies which provide enhanced telecommunications products and services. Wavetech is represented in the transaction by Sterne, Agee & Leach, Inc., a full service investment firm. Wavetech entered into a banking agreement with Sterne, Agee & Leach, Inc. on July 11, 1997. Products and services provided by the three private companies include calling cards, consumer privilege cards, virtual office products, one-plus domestic/international long distance, Internet access and operator services. The three companies have in excess of 750,000 customers with combined annualized revenues in excess of $48 million. Additional information on the talks and the merging companies was not given. Wavetech, Inc. is a diversified telecommunications company. It is the developer and distributor of Interpretel computer/telephony products and is engaged in the resale of international long distance. The Company’s advanced network provides subscribers single point of access to innovative communications and information services. The Company markets its services in the United States and Canada under the Interpretel name and through highly- customized or co-brand initiatives. The press release includes statements which may constitute forward-looking statements under the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. This information may involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from such forward-looking statements. Factors which could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to, factors detailed in the Company’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings.Details
Capital One Financial Corporation today announced a quarterly dividend of $.08 per share payable November 19, 1997, to stockholders of record as of November 4, 1997. This is the Company’s eleventh consecutive quarterly dividend since its February 28, 1995, spin-off from Signet Banking Corporation. Dividends declared by the Company are eligible for direct reinvestment in the Company’s common stock under its Dividend Reinvestment and Stock Purchase Plan. For additional plan information, stockholders should contact ChaseMellon Shareholder Services at 800-685-4518.
Headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, Capital One Financial Corporation is a financial services company whose principal subsidiaries, Capital One Bank, and Capital One, F.S.B., offer consumer lending products. Capital One’s subsidiaries collectively had 10.7 million customers and $13.5 billion in managed loans outstanding as of September 30, 1997, and are among the largest providers of MasterCard and Visa credit cards in the world.
Note: This release and financial information are available on the Internet on Capital One’s home page (). Click on “Financial Information” to view/download the release and financial information.Details
WORLDSPAN and Barrington, Ill.-based Value Integrated Network, LLC (VIN.net) executed a letter of intent to integrate the VIN.net(R) travel expense management solution into the WORLDSPAN(R) for Business Travel product line.
Programming, currently being planned by the companies, will interface the VIN.net product with the WORLDSPAN Trip Manager self-booking tool for corporate travelers and WORLDSPAN’s global travel database. VIN.net will be able to electronically process the entire traveler expense reporting function through its comprehensive ability to integrate employee expense reports with an organization’s multiple departments and systems, and those of its travel partners.
In a separate agreement between VIN.net and Morris Travel Services, LLC, VIN.net became the T&E reporting system of choice for use by Morris Travel’s participating corporate customers. A growing number of its clients will also take advantage of the Trip Manager self-booking tool, a chief component of the WORLDSPAN for Business Travel product line. Morris Travel is a WORLDSPAN subscriber.
“VIN.net is an established developer of p.pless T&E management systems and was the first to provide Web-enabled software that completely supports an Internet/Intranet environment,” said WORLDSPAN Director of Emerging Markets Pat Crorkin. “The addition of VIN.net, its expertise and commitment to the WORLDSPAN for Business Travel line, further demonstrates our strategy of offering only the most advanced corporate travel solutions available.”
VIN.net facilitates real-time, high-speed communications and processing with financial institutions, corporate credit cards and travel management companies. It offers an icon-driven, Windows-based environment with drag-and- drop capabilities, self-prompting windows, and customized preference tables. Business travelers enter travel expense data and submit reports electronically, from any location. Reports may be submitted through the Internet, the company Intranet or network, or direct-dial modem. Information from reports can be imported to any internal or designated external system, eliminating the need for travelers or various departments to re-key data. Combined with prepopulation of reservations and corporate charge card data, and embedded accounting intelligence (travel policies, negotiated travel supplier rates, etc.), VIN.net capabilities significantly decrease time spent on administrative T&E functions.
“Research indicates most companies still use manual reporting systems, with the average report taking 14 to 21 days to process and costing corporations between $18.00 and $50.00,” said VIN.net Chief Operating Officer Pamela J. Furey. “VIN.net is able to deliver real-time processing at a cost of less than $3.00 per expense report. These are significant savings, considering T&E represents one of the largest controllable costs in a corporation.”
VIN.net’s two-way communications and automatic online update capabilities additionally provide travelers with new database information at log-on, and companies with instant, actual executive intelligence for gaining an accurate picture of the company’s current T&E status.
WORLDSPAN for Business Travel is a growing technology resource for corporations and their partner WORLDSPAN travel agencies. It is designed to offer a selection of best-of-breed applications designed for end-to-end business travel planning, information management and expense reporting. All products have the capability to operate within an Internet/Intranet environment, providing corporations, their employees and travel management companies maximum, integrated electronic management capabilities with minimum technical requirements.
For additional information, VIN.net can be reached by calling 847-382-8638 or by visiting their Web site at http://www.vinnet.com. Individuals wanting information about WORLDSPAN for Business Travel or the Trip Manager self- booking product can contact their WORLDSPAN account representatives or call toll-free: 800-842-7726, ext. 3468. Information on Trip Manager is accessible through the WORLDSPAN Home Page as well:
Value Integrated Network, LLC was founded in 1994 by Chief Executive Officer Vincent Kroening and Chief Operating Officer Pamela J. Furey, to design, develop and introduce the corporate travel market’s first, fully- integrated p.pless travel and expense report processing system. Headquarters are located in Barrington, Ill.
Based in Salt Lake City, Morris Travel Services, LLC is one of the United States’ top 20 full-service travel management companies.
WORLDSPAN offers a broad selection of reservations, ticketing and office automation products to the domestic and international travel industry. The company is jointly owned by affiliates of Delta Air Lines, Northwest Airlines, Trans World Airlines and Abacus Distribution Systems, the Asia/Pacific computer reservations system company based in Singapore. WORLDSPAN’s world headquarters are located in Atlanta, Ga.Details
Business customers: Need a loan? Just pick up the phone! With the Business Products by Phone service just made available through First Citizens Direct, new and existing customers can now apply for business loans and deposit products by calling the same 1-888- FCDIRECT (323-4732) number that customers already use. Service hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.
“The new service is designed to serve business customers and the branches by offering the convenience of the telephone and the flexibility of non- traditional hours,” said Cyndi Holding, project manager. Those products will include commercial checking and savings accounts, certificates of deposit, PC banking for businesses and small business sweep accounts. In addition, business customers can use the telephone to apply for business loans, Business Checkline Reserve, business credit cards and capital lines of credit.
The core staff of specially-trained telephone business bankers and a telephone banking assistant handle incoming calls. For real estate loans, Telephone Banking follows through by scheduling the closing with an attorney, arranging for loan document preparation, and preparing the loan proceeds check. For non-real estate loans, Telephone Banking coordinates a branch closing with one of First Citizens’ 321 branches in North Carolina and Virginia.
“Offering the convenience of telephone banking to the business community is an important step in maintaining our competitive edge,” said Jay Parker, executive vice president.
“Research shows there is an emerging group of business customers who are demanding the convenience of telephone banking,” said Jamie Duke, FCDirect executive. While some business customers prefer to meet personally with their local banker, others don’t have time to visit a traditional branch during normal business hours.
Telephone banking has proven extremely popular among First Citizens’ retail customers. Each month, telephone bankers handle approximately 60,000 calls per month. “What’s especially important to note,” said Larry Kittrell, who runs Telephone Banking, “is the increase in the percentage of calls we’re getting from non-customers who become customers.”
First Citizens operates more than 300 branches in nearly 200 cities and towns in Virginia and North Carolina. Headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., the bank has more than $8 billion in assets.Details
ICT GROUP INC.reported Thursday that consolidated revenues for the three months ended Sept. 30, 1997 were $21.7 million, a 26% increase compared to revenues of $17.3 million for the same period in 1996.
The company’s operating and net income grew faster to record levels as a result of effectively managing expenses and leveraging corporate and divisional infrastructure costs.
Operating income increased 141% to $1,039,000 in the third quarter of 1997 from $432,000 in the third quarter of 1996, and net income increased 83% to $681,000 in the quarter from $372,000 in the same period last year. Earnings per share increased 100% to 6 cents per share, compared to 3 cents per share in 1996.
John J. Brennan, chairman and chief executive officer, stated, “We are pleased with the gains made in the financial performance of ICT GROUP in the third quarter, as we continue to successfully execute our strategy to service the sales, marketing and customer care needs of our clients in the domestic and international markets with a full range of inbound and outbound call center operations and value-added marketing and management services.”
Revenues from teleservices operations increased 30% to $18.0 million in the third quarter of 1997 from $13.9 million in 1996. Domestic Teleservices revenues showed their strongest year-to-year gain, increasing 25% to $14.8 million in the third quarter of 1997 from $11.8 million in 1996, reflecting growth from the insurance, financial services and health care markets.
International Teleservices revenues grew to $3.2 million in 1997, up 56% from $2.1 million in 1996, fueled by demand across each of our international markets, but especially in Europe and Canada.
Revenues from the Marketing and Management Services divisions increased 10% to $3.7 million in 1997 from $3.4 million in 1996. Strong growth in market research revenues were offset by a decline in Management Services revenues due to the conclusion of a service contract in the second quarter.
Results from Financial Marketing Services operations improved, as business from bank clients continued to show renewed growth during the year.
Brennan further stated, “During the third quarter, as revenue momentum built, we continued to aggressively control operating costs and expenses by consolidating existing call centers and adding new centers in attractive labor and business-friendly market areas, renegotiating supplier contracts and minimizing additions to staff. Our goal is to continue to realize additional operating leverage in each of our business unit operations.
“In the third quarter of 1997, we announced strategic alliances with ALLTEL Corporation and Aspect Telecommunications Corporation, which are designed to broaden our call center management services capabilities. We believe that these alliances and others which we are developing will enhance our opportunities in the financial services, information technology and other industry sectors.”
ICT GROUP, an independent provider of call center teleservices for sales, marketing and customer care, employs more than 300 professionals in management, sales, systems and operations and approximately 3,750 telephone sales and service representatives and research interviewers.
The company manages 27 call centers in nine states, Europe and Canada, from which it supports outbound and inbound calling for domestic and multinational corporations and institutions.
In addition to its corporate staff, ICT GROUP’s sales and marketing divisions as well as its market research division, ICT Research Services, are headquartered in Langhorne.
ICT GROUP has sales offices in Philadelphia; Chicago; Miami; Stamford, Conn.; Amherst, N.Y.; London, England, and Dublin, Ireland. Facilities conducting international operations are located in Miami; Dublin, Ireland; London, England, and New Brunswick, Canada.
To learn more about ICT GROUP, visit its web site at . ICT GROUP is traded on Nasdaq:ICTG.Details
Universal Studios and NOVUS Services introduced the new “Universal Studios Card”. For every dollar spent in purchases on the new Universal Studios Card, Cardmembers earn StudioPoints toward entertainment rewards from Universal Studios, including free admission to its theme parks, movie and concert tickets, limited-edition merchandise and even the opportunity to play a walk-on part in a music video or television production. The Universal Studios Card features include: no annual fee, a 7.9 percent introductory rate on purchases and balance transfers for up to six months, a 25-day interest-free grace period on purchases and the ability to get cash advances.Details
Chargeoffs reported in October for the September collection period increased slightly to 6.65% according to the Fitch Credit Card Performance Index. Master trusts reporting the largest increases in chargeoffs for the September collection period were: Advanta, BankAmerica, Discover, First Chicago and Sears. Meanwhile, Standard & Poor says charge-offs ticked up modestly in September 1997 to 6.7%. S&P says the increase in Septemberâs index was largely attributable to two major trusts, Discover and First Chicago. Losses fell sharply in Banc Oneâs master trust to 7.1% from over 9% in June, July, and August, and First USAâs ratio declined to 5.9%, reflecting normalization of its ratio following a change in its charge-off policy.Details
Equifax Inc. announced yesterday it will build a new global headquarters building near its current site at 1600 Peachtree Street and move 550 additional employees from its Information Service Center in Cobb County to Midtown.
Equifax is a world leader in providing financial information and processing solutions, with global operation in consumer and commercial credit information services, payment services, software, modeling, analytics and consulting and direct-to-consumer services.
CEO Daniel W. McGlaughlin said the new headquarters will be constructed at the corner of Peachtree and Spring streets next to Rhodes Hall.
“We are happy in Midtown, and it was easy for us to remain committed to this vital, growing Atlanta neighborhood,” said President Thomas F. Chapman. “The designs we are considering will be a plus for the area. Our building will fit in well with the historical neighborhood of Ansley Park and with Rhodes Hall.”
While the site is zoned C4 (for an office tower up to 650,000 square feet), Equifax’s building will be no more than eight stories high and 150,000 square feet.
“Upon completion, you will see a building and landscaping as inviting on the outside as the technological advances and pleasing, open environment are on the inside,” Mr. McGlaughlin said.
Susan Mendheim, president and CEO of Midtown Alliance, said: “All aspects of the Equifax project are exactly in sync with Blueprint Midtown and the community’s vision of what Midtown ought to become. It is a fabulous synergy, blending old and new buildings to enhance the gateway to Midtown.”
Street-level parking for the new building will be at a minimum, with a full parking garage developed underneath the structure. And between the building and the street, there will be a heavily landscaped buffer of trees.
The Equifax Information Service Center, currently located in Cobb County, will be relocated to an existing 90,000 square foot structure at Equifax’s current site. The Service Center, which communicates directly with consumers regarding their credit information and profiles, will serve 5.5 million customers this year, a figure which has doubled since 1993.
Unaffected by the new headquarters building and relocation are other Equifax locations throughout the metro Atlanta area including the company’s information technology center in north Fulton County and its risk management unit, located near the interchange of 1-85 and 1-285 in DeKalb County.
The company is reviewing architectural proposals for the headquarters building and has yet to choose a construction contractor. Construction is slated to begin by the end of this year and should take about 18 months, with the company moving in the new headquarters building in the spring of 1999 — Equifax’s 100th anniversary.
Equifax serves many industries on a global basis, including banking, finance, retail, credit card, telecommunications and utilities, and health care. Equifax was founded in 1899 in Atlanta and today has more than 10,000 employees around the world. It operates globally in 17 countries, with sales in 40 countries. Equifax revenues for the 12 months ended June 30, 1997, were just under 1.3 billion. The current Equifax headquarters building opened in 1956.Details
Citibank named Carlos Palomares Chief Financial Officer for its North American Consumer Banking Group, the unit that operates Citibankâs consumer branch banking, credit cards and mortgage operations in the United States and Canada. Palomares also will serve as Chairman of Citibank Federal Savings Bank. Citibank said the appointment is effective immediately.Details
Judged on return on equity, sales, earnings growth and net income, Total System Services, Inc.(R) has been named, for the tenth consecutive year, as one of the 200 Best Small Companies in America by Forbes, earning distinction as a member of Forbes’ Honor Roll. According to the November 3 issue of Forbes, the criteria for Honor Roll members are superior financial returns, long-term staying power, and stock gains. In addition, TSYS is one of only two companies who has made Forbes’ listing consecutively. The list began in 1979.
According to Forbes authors Ben Pappas and Ronald Boone, Jr. in the article Best of the Best, “Not all hot small companies have staying power. We think those on the Honor Roll have a good chance of remaining, if not hot, at least warm for a long time to come.” The authors continued, “Take star performer Total System Services, Inc. which appeared on our Honor Roll in 1992. A $10,000 investment in Total System in 1992 would be worth almost $70,000 today.”
Patrick Reynolds, Director of Investor Relations for TSYS, further elaborated on the value of TSYS’ stock, “Since our initial public offering in 1983, TSYS has had six stock splits, so if someone had invested that same $10,000 when TSYS had its IP0, the value of that investment would be worth $573,122. If they invested $10,000 in 1988 when we first appeared on Forbes’ list, it would be worth $103,265.”
“Three of the 14 Honor Roll companies — Fastenal, Nature’s Sunshine Products, and Total System Services — have been on the 200 Best list ten times. All first qualified when they were tiny and then kept growing at a pace that got them back on the list nine more times. In fact, they are growing right off our list,” Pappas and Boone said.
TSYS Chairman of the Board and CEO Richard W. Ussery, said, “Being named to Forbes’ nationally renowned list for ten consecutive years is an affirmation of the hard work and dedication our team members put into creating superior products and services for our customers and outstanding value for our shareholders. This honor is the icing on the cake for our team during our week-long celebration, Team Appreciation Week, which honors our employees. I’m proud of our track record and proud to be a part of this dynamic team effort. We look forward to an exciting future.”
Headquartered in Columbus, Ga., TSYS is one of the world’s largest credit, debit, commercial and private-label card processing companies, serving card issuing institutions located throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada and Mexico, representing more than 90 million cardholder accounts. TSYS provides a comprehensive on-line system of data processing services marketed as THE TOTAL SYSTEM(R). In 1996, TSYS formed a joint venture with Visa(R) U.S.A. to create Vital Processing Services L.L.C. (), a leading full-service merchant services provider. TSYS’ 1996 revenues totaled $311.6 million; the company is an 80.7 percent owned subsidiary of Synovus Financial Corp. (NYSE: SNV) (), a $9.0 billion asset, multi- financial services company that also includes 34 banking affiliates in four Southeastern states, a full-service brokerage firm, a comprehensive trust services provider and a mortgage services company. TSYS’ Internet address is .Details
Sulcus Hospitality Technologies Corp., American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc. and Horwath International today announced that they entered into a letter of intent to form a strategic business alliance which will design, develop and provide products and services within the hospitality industry.
Through new products and services, the new partnership will be capable of supplying the hospitality industry with information previously unavailable, allowing the end user to know more about their guests, know more about their business and to create marketing programs in order to increase their penetration within their markets.
Each alliance partner brings maximum expertise in their specialized areas:
American Express, in the area of database management and the creation and implementation of marketing programs; Horwath’s expertise in consulting and accounting; Sulcus, through its “legacy solution,” the technology necessary to accomplish the goals of the alliance. In addition, Sulcus will have the overall project management responsibility within the alliance.
As part of their efforts, American Express, Sulcus, and Horwath will jointly create, market and brand software products designed to address the financial, operational and marketing needs of hospitality clients.
“We are proud to be part of the alliance with American Express and Horwath International. In conjunction with the technological solutions and support provided by Sulcus the alliance will establish new standards in the hospitality industry,” stated Sulcus’ CEO, Leon Harris.
Commenting on this new alliance, Werner Rotach, CEO of Horwath International, stated, “This alliance allows us to deliver a unique product within the hospitality market. Each of our areas of expertise come together to form a partnership capable of revolutionizing the hospitality industry.”
“American Express is very excited about this unique partnership with Horwath and Sulcus. This opportunity will allow us to help our hospitality merchants manage and grow their business,” stated Tim Bush, Vice President, Merchant Information Services.
American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc., is a wholly owned subsidiary of the American Express Company — a diversified worldwide travel and financial services company founded in 1850. It is a leader in charge and credit cards, Travelers Cheques, travel, financial planning, investment products, insurance and international banking.
Horwath International (HI) is an international network of independent management consulting and accounting firms with over 300 offices throughout the world providing a broad spectrum of professional services including accounting, auditing, tax and consulting. Horwath International member firms have earned a worldwide reputation as advisors to the Travel & Tourism industry; Family and Owner Managed Businesses and in International Structuring and Tax Planning.
Sulcus Hospitality Technologies Corp. is a global leader in the design, development and marketing of technology solutions that are used in the hospitality and tourism market to improve the management of business-critical information and data. The Company is headquartered in Greensburg, Pennsylvania with offices, distributors and agents worldwide.Details
NEC Card Services announced today the company has changed its name to Personix and will soon move into a new 121,000-square-foot facility in the Houston suburb of Stafford. The building, slated for a late November move-in, will house one of the largest plastic card production operations in the country serving the telecommunications, health care, and financial services industries. Personix, which gets its name from a combination of the words “personalization,” “electronic,” and “sonic,” employs more than 300 people in Houston and another 400 at facilities in Indianapolis. The new plant will allow Personix to add another 55 employees in Stafford in 1998 to accommodate a quickly growing book of business. The new company combines the operations of NEC Card Services and Adminastar Communications, an Indianapolis-based high-speed printing, electronic publishing and mailing operation. Personix is a unit of Fiserv Inc., a financial data processing and information management company based in Brookfield, Wis. “Personix is the ideal choice in name and imagery to take this company to the next level in offering our clients leading-edge card issuance, business communications, and electronic publishing solutions and unsurpassed customer service,” said Jorge M. Diaz, president of Personix. “As we bring our new production facility on-line, we anticipate continued growth both in new business opportunities for the company and new job positions.” The new facility is in the Freeport/Southwest Business Park in Stafford. The structure will be the first building in the business park being developed by The Midway Companies, a Houston-based construction and development company. The Midway Companies also designed and is building the Personix plant, a facility that features many high-end finishes that facilitate the production flow of electronically transmitted data through sophisticated processing equipment. “Security and workflow efficiency are two cornerstones that went into the design and development of this new building,” said Diaz, who has seen the company outgrow its current 60,000-square-foot facility in less than two years. “We are excited about making the move and expanding our services as we grow and diversify.” Personix also operates two production facilities in Indianapolis that handle a variety of business communications and electronic publishing functions, and additional card services production. Fiserv Inc. is an independent provider of financial data processing systems and related information management services and products to more than 5,000 banks, credit unions, mortgage firms and savings institutions worldwide. A publicly held company headquartered in Brookfield, Fiserv is traded on the NASDAQ over-the-counter market under the symbol FISV.Details