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Barclaycard US wins NFL credit-card business

The Wilmington credit-card operation will market plastic that carries the NFL and team logos starting in September.

Professional football teams have many loyal fans who'll go to all sorts of lengths to show their allegiance.

Including carrying a credit card that identifies them as a fan of the Philadelphia Eagles or one of the 31 other National Football League clubs.

But come September, if you're one of the nearly one million holders of an NFL credit card through Bank of America, you'll have to switch card providers if you want to remain a card-carrying fan.

On Monday, Wilmington-based Barclaycard US said it reached a multi-year agreement with NFL to market affinity cards that carry the NFL and team logos. No specifics on the deal were announced.

But it means Bank of America, which had the business for three years, will need to re-brand its active NFL cards. Bank of America, which had bought Delaware's biggest credit-card operation, MBNA, in 2005, still has agreements with Major League Baseball and NASCAR.

Barclaycard US employs 1,500 people in Delaware at two locations in Wilmington and one in Newark. The credit-card business has its roots in a company named Juniper Financial Corp., founded in 2000. Barclays P.L.C. bought it from Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce for $293 million in 2004.

Pepping Up

In a weak environment for retail, the Pep Boys - Manny, Moe & Jack auto-parts chain hasn't been spinning its tires.

The Philadelphia company said Monday that it closed the books on the fifth quarter in a row that profitability had improved quarter over quarter.

Net earnings were $11.95 million, or 23 cents per share, for the three months ended May 1, compared with $10.91 million, or 21 cents per share, for the same period a year ago.

And total revenue was up, rising 2.7 percent to $510.0 million for its first quarter, from $496.5 million for the first quarter of 2009. Pep Boys generates about 20 percent of its revenue from servicing vehicles.

And Pep Boys continues to open stores. It has plans to open 40 locations in 2010 and 80 in 2011. It had 590 stores in 35 states and Puerto Rico as of May 1, compared with 563 last May.

What Price CEO?

In contrast, Carpenter Technology Corp. has seen eight quarters in a row of declining profitability.

The Reading-based maker and fabricator of specialty metals named a new chief executive officer on Monday to succeed an interim CEO who'd served since mid-October.

So how much did it take to persuade William A. Wulfsohn to take the job?

Wulfsohn, who has been on the board of Carpenter Technology since April 2009, will get an annual salary of $800,000, according to an employment agreement filed with the SEC.

That salary is actually less than the $850,000 starting salary of Anne L. Stevens, who joined as CEO in November 2006 and resigned last October.

However, Wulfsohn also received restricted stock valued at $4.48 million. Those shares will vest over the next four years.