Bullish Forecast Powers NextCard

NextCard, Inc. (Nasdaq: NXCD) rose 3 5/8 to 11 3/4 Thursday after the company, which issues consumer credit over the Internet, said it expects to grow at 75 percent per year over the next three years.

The company said revenue will reach $1 billion by 2003, with earnings rising to $150 million, or $2.83 per share. Assets under management at the end of 2003 will be more than $6 billion as the company’s customer base tops three million, NextCard said.

For fiscal 2002, NextCard said it expects earnings of $75 million, up from a previous estimate of $50 million.

President and chief executive officer John Hashman said the company expects to turn a profit by the end of next year, a year earlier than previously expected.

NextCard, which began operations in 1997, says it is the first company to offer instant online credit-card approval. The San Francisco, California-based company also operates an online shopping service, bill-payment service and rewards program.

In separate news Thursday, NextCard launched a consumer finance division aimed at giving brick-and-click retailers a way to offer customers instant credit for big-ticket purchases. Initial partners for the division include Egghead.com, Diamond.com and Homes.com.

“By capitalizing on our deep understanding of Web technologies, proprietary profile-based pricing and real-time database marketing, we are expanding beyond our core credit-card product,” Hashman said.

According to Hashman, the new division is looking at a market of more than $100 billion as retailers choose to outsource their financing services.

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