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Apr. 6, 2009 – Finance Digest

Ducati announces new customer financing partner
Ducati North America and FreedomRoad Financial announced a partnership that will provide retail financing for the full line of Ducati motorcycles in the United States.
A press release said FreedomRoad will work to provide “quick and aggressive” approvals for Ducati buyers and to provide support to the Ducati dealer network.
Freedom Road also has committed to sign on as an official sponsor of Team Foremost Pegram Racing, Ducati’s Superbike racing team in the U.S.
“Ducati is excited to offer our customers remarkable financing on two of our most popular models,” said Jason Chinnock, sales director of Ducati North America.
The Ducati and FreedomRoad partnership includes a promotional retail financing program that supports the Ducati Monster and Superbike families. The program includes payments as low as $119 per month for a Monster 696 or $179 per month for an 848 Superbike.

Easton-Bell Sports reports rise in sales for its fiscal year
Easton-Bell Sports, a helmet manufacturer, reported a 7 percent gain in net sales in 2008 as compared to the previous year but a decrease in net income.
The company’s net income of $13.4 million was an 8 percent drop from the previous year.
Easton-Bell noted it suffered a $1.2 million loss due to foreign currency exchange rates as well as another $1.8 million loss because of a reorganization inside the company.
The part of the company that sells powersports helmets, the Action Sports division, reported a nearly 11 percent gain in sales over the previous year. Sales increased by more than $33 million thanks to an increase in snow sport helmet revenue as well as cycling helmet sales. The company did report a decrease in sales of “powersports helmets in the mass channel.”
The company’s other division, the “Action Sports” that includes team sports, reported a rise in sales of 4 percent.
Easton-Bell noted it spent more than $13 million on research and development for its fiscal year.

ARI’s first-half revenue declines by 4 percent
ARI, a provider of technology-enabled business systems, reported its first-half revenue decreased by nearly 4 percent to $8.1 million.
Its second-quarter revenue fell more than 6 percent compared to the previous year period.
The company’s net income dropped 46 percent to $312,000 for its fiscal first half due primarily to a non-cash adjustment to deferred tax assets.
ARI CEO Roy Olivier said in a press release that the company invested more than a half million dollars in product development and other capital improvements during the company’s first half. “This is consistent with our plans to continue enhancing our product offerings and customer service while taking the prudent steps necessary to weather this economic environment and be well-positioned when the inevitable recovery occurs,” Olivier said.
Regarding the company’s sales performance, Olivier said, “marketing services revenue delivered a strong quarterly performance, and catalog subscription revenue showed a marginal decline while professional services revenue showed a significant decline.”

Cooper Tire reports fourth-quarter loss
Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. showed a net loss of $143 million for the fourth quarter that ended Dec. 31. Net sales were $636 million, which was down $130 million from the previous year period, according to a press release from the company.
Net sales for the year also were down at $2.9 billion. Net losses were $219 million for the year compared with net income of $91 million from continuing operations in 2007.
North American fourth-quarter tire operations sales were $511 million. Operating losses for the quarter were $109 million compared to a profit of $45 million from the prior-year period.
International tire operations showed an increase of 11 percent for the full year’s net sales, which reached $975 million. The company showed a decrease in sales for its fourth quarter compared to 2007. Its sales were $176 million for the quarter.

Partnership to provide dealer Loan Applications to lenders
XpressCredit and Allied Solutions added another product to their partnership. XpressCredit, a Web-based Credit Aggregation System, is used by more than 400 motorcycle, ATV, snowmobile and PWC dealers. XpressCredit automates and accelerates the indirect financing process between dealers and lenders. Allied Solutions is a large provider of insurance, lending and marketing products to financial institutions.
As partners, XpressCredit brings additional dealers to Allied Solution’s more than 3,700 financial institutions. Since XpressCredit provides dealers with the technology to pass filtered credit applications to multiple lenders, Allied Solution’s financial institutions will have the opportunity to receive loan applications. As a participating finance source on the XpressCredit platform, the Allied Solution’s financial institutions will gain immediate access to franchised powersports dealers located within their footprint.

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