Credit card issuer The Metris Companies will give a presentation for the Turnaround Management Association, an organization that studies corporate turnarounds, representing Metris' successful climb back from the edge of the financial abyss.

Officials from Minnetonka, Minn.-based Metris, including Senior Vice President and Treasurer Scott Fjellman, will speak to a meeting of the Minnesota chapter of the Turnaround Management Association this month about the company's return to financial health and the ABS primary market. Fjellman said it was too early to provide a specific agenda for the presentation.

In the late-90s, Metris began extending inflated credit lines to less-than-qualified borrowers as a way to increase business. However, the move only ended up causing higher delinquencies and charge-offs in its portfolio and garnering scrutiny from financial regulators. As its excess spread was squeezed thinner and thinner, Metris found itself staring down the early-amortizations barrel on some of its transactions, a situation the company was not prepared to handle.

In 2002, Metris signed an agreement with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to reduce the size of its credit lines to individuals and to target borrowers with higher FICO scores. With the help of a team of investment banks, Metris was able to make good on its outstanding obligations and to re-enter the securitization market last year after a three-year hiatus. The company's most recent deal was a $544 million offering last month.

Metris experienced a strong 1Q05 that saw excess spread in its portfolio rise to 6.47% from 4.86%, with net income of $27.6 million and earnings of $0.15 per share. The two-cycle delinquency rate in the Metris Master Trust was 8.3% for the quarter, the lowest number in four years, and the 4.1% first-cycle delinquency rate for the quarter was the lowest in company history. Metris has $6.2 billion in managed credit card loans and roughly $5 billion of ABS outstanding.

The Turnaround Management Association touts itself as "the only international non-profit association dedicated to corporate renewal and turnaround management." A media relations official from the Minnesota chapter of The Turnaround Management Association did not return a call for comment.

Copyright 2005 Thomson Media Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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