June 4, 2007 – Finance Digest

Assurant Solutions reports increase in operating income
Assurant Solutions, the F&I provider that recently purchased the RPM Group, reported a first-quarter net operating income increase of 11.4 percent over the same period as last year.
Assurant Solutions is a division of Assurant Inc., which reported assets of $25.5 billion in its 2007 first-quarter report. As a whole, the company reported its net income rose 10 percent to $179.5 million.
For Assurant Solutions, its net operating income increased to $4.1 million. Its first-quarter increase was primarily a result of an additional $7.8 million in after-tax real estate investment income, the company stated. The division’s net earned premiums rose by 2 percent, to $583 million. The increase was primarily because of domestic and international service growth and growth in international credit insurance.


Ducati posts significant growth for first quarter
Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. saw vast improvement in all its financial indicators in its fiscal first quarter 2007 results.
First-quarter revenues for the company rose 25 percent to $129.6 million, thanks in part to the Superbike 1098’s sales performance and accessory and apparel revenues (up 38.7 percent).
Net income came in at $7.6 million compared to $2 million the year before.
Ducati sold 8,903 bikes in the first quarter, versus 7,337 in 2006, a 21.3 percent increase, compared to a 3 percent increase in the relevant market.
First-quarter registrations increased in nearly every country and were up 15.2 percent in the United States.
Japan, however, showed a steep decrease in Ducati registrations (down 53.3 percent).
The company also has opted to delist from the New York Stock Exchange and to terminate registering its shares and American Depositary Shares, as well as discontinue its registration and reporting obligations under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
Ducati cited the costs associated with maintaining the listing and registration as the reason for the withdrawal, as well as the sustained low trading volumes of the securities in the United States.
Ducati’s ordinary shares will remain listed on the Mercato Telematico Azionario, the Italian stock exchange’s automated screen-based trading system, but the company has not arranged for listing or registering its ordinary shares and ADSs on any other U.S. national securities exchange.


GE Money, Carter Brothers sign new finance program
GE Money’s Sales Finance unit and Carter Brothers, the world’s largest manufacturer of go-karts and off-road buggies and exclusive U.S. distributor of SYM powersports products, announced a new, multi-year consumer financing agreement.
Available through more than 400 dealers across the United States, the new credit program offers an application and sales process with promotional financing options and flexible monthly payments on Carter Brothers and SYM products, including new go-karts and dune buggies, scooters and ATVs.
“The FUNancing Card is a perfect solution that enables customers to finance their favorite motorsports equipment, safety gear and accessories, while generating brand awareness and loyalty for Carter Brothers,” said Jonathon Arn, chief executive officer for Carter Brothers, which recently introduced its 2008 product line.
Carter Brothers has partnered with SYM of Hsinchu, Taiwan, to distribute a complete line of ATVs and scooters.
“With the FUNancing Card, dealers receive end-to-end support, from marketing materials that help generate sales to fast and convenient point-of-sale processing to complete customer support from our knowledgeable staff,” said Gregory Pierce, vice president and general manager, Power Products, for GE Money – Sales Finance.


UTI revenue up, net income down
Universal Technical Institute Inc. saw a 3.3 percent increase in net revenues in its fiscal 2007 second quarter to $91.7 million, up from $88.7 million for the same period in the previous year.
Net income was $6.1 million, down 26.4 percent from $8.3 million in the second quarter a year ago.
The net revenue increase primarily relates to higher tuition prices combined with the previously disclosed change in retake policy and a greater number of students taking two courses at the same time as compared to the prior year.
These increases were partially offset by a decrease in average undergraduate student enrollment and an increase in tuition discounts.
UTI’s operating income in the second quarter of fiscal 2007 was $9.5 million, a 24.5 percent decrease, compared with $12.5 million in the same period in the previous year.
This decrease reflects higher operating costs, primarily related to increases in employee compensation and benefits, advertising and depreciation expense. These increases were partially offset by a decrease in bad debt expense.

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