|CENDANT INCREASES EARNINGS PROJECTIONS FOR 2001 AND 2002
Company Increases Fourth Quarter 2001 Projected Adjusted EPS to $0.20 From Previously Announced Range of $0.15 to $0.19; $0.03 Above First Call Consensus Estimate
Company Increases 2002 Adjusted EPS Outlook to $1.25 From Previously Announced Range of $1.15 to $1.25;$0.07 Above First Call Consensus Estimate
New York, NY 11-15-2001 -- Cendant Corporation (NYSE: CD) today updated its previously announced outlook for 2001 and 2002 adjusted earnings per share. At the present time the Company believes that, based on current trends in its businesses, fourth quarter 2001 projected EPS of $0.20 will exceed the high end of the previously announced range of $0.15 to $0.19. In addition, the Company increased its outlook for 2002 EPS to $1.25, compared to the previously announced range of $1.15 to $1.25.
Cendant's Chairman, President and CEO, Henry R. Silverman, stated: "Our guidance for the fourth quarter and next year, announced on September 28, was based upon 17 days of results after the September 11 terrorist incidents. With an additional six weeks of information, we have more clarity on the outlook for the fourth quarter and next year, and it appears that we have regained our earnings momentum. In addition, our management has taken decisive actions to materially lower our operating costs. As a result, we are adjusting upward our previous guidance."
Mr. Silverman continued, "The benefits of our hedged, diversified portfolio of businesses are clearly being demonstrated in this environment. When the economy is under pressure, interest rates typically fall and our rate sensitive businesses are particularly strong. In a stronger economy, our travel businesses will benefit. These conditions reduce the volatility of our earnings stream and have us on track, barring unforeseen circumstances, to generate approximately $2 billion in free cash flow next year."
The Company also reiterated that the cost reduction actions noted above will result in a charge taken in the fourth quarter related to rightsizing the corporation in response to the attacks of September 11 as well as the integration of Galileo International and Cheap Tickets, which were acquired in the fourth quarter of this year. At the present time, this charge is expected to be approximately $125 million after-tax, of which approximately $35 million is non-cash. The Company expects the payback period for the cash portion of the charge to be less than one year.
In addition, as previously disclosed, the Company is also reviewing the carrying value of assets on its balance sheet. As part of this process, the Company is examining its investment in Homestore.com, received through the sale of Move.com earlier this year, due to the significant change in business climate and subsequent decrease in Homestore?s equity market value. Should a non-cash adjustment of the investment in Homestore be required, the result would be a reduction of up to $260 million after-tax which would offset the gain recognized in the first quarter of 2001.
The Company continues to review the carrying value of its mortgage servicing rights due to the unprecedented downward shift in lending rates as a result of the 150 basis point decrease in the Federal Funds rate instituted by the Federal Reserve since the terrorist attacks and the recently announced discontinuation of the 30 year Treasury Bond auctions by the Treasury Department. Any necessary adjustment to the carrying value of the mortgage servicing rights would result in a one-time, non-cash charge of no more than $60 million after-tax as the Company believes that its current hedged position will protect it from any further decline in the value of the asset. The Company expects to reach a determination on these matters before reporting fourth quarter results.
Adjusted earnings per share (EPS) excludes non-recurring or unusual items and the effect of an equity ownership in Homestore.com.
|Statements about future results made in this release constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on current expectations and the current economic environment. The Company cautions that these statements are not guarantees of future performance. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in the forward-looking statements. Important assumptions and other important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements are specified in Cendant?s Form 10-Q filed on November 14, 2001. Such forward-looking statements include projections. Such projections were not prepared in accordance with published guidelines of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants or the SEC regarding projections and forecasts, nor have such projections been audited, examined or otherwise reviewed by independent auditors of Cendant or its affiliates. In addition, such projections are based upon many estimates and are inherently subject to significant economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies, many of which are beyond the control of management of Cendant and its affiliates. Accordingly, actual results may be materially higher or lower than those projected. The inclusion of such projections herein should not be regarded as a representation by Cendant or its affiliates that the projections will prove to be correct. Cendant Corporation is primarily a provider of travel and residential real estate services. With approximately 60,000 employees, New York City-based Cendant provides these services to businesses and consumers in over 100 countries.