IRVINE, Calif. — During the fourth quarter of 2008, Consumer Portfolio Services reported it purchased $7.3 million of contracts from dealers, compared with $33.6 million during the third quarter and $265.8 million during the fourth quarter of 2007.

Overall for the year, the company said it purchased $296.8 million on contracts, compared with almost $1.3 billion in 2007.

As for managed receivables, CPS reported these totaled about $1.66 billion as of Dec. 31, down $462.1 million, or 21.7 percent, from about $1.12 billion in the prior year.

Charles Bradley Jr., president and chief executive officer, stated, "2008 was a challenging period with the capital markets frozen for much of the year and the weakening economic picture. We took several significant steps, however, to preserve liquidity and maintain our franchise. These included decreasing our monthly operating expenses, substantially repaying our warehouse credit lines and greatly reducing new-contract purchases.

"In addition, we raised the yield on our new-contract purchases by over 500 basis points while significantly improving our credit metrics," he continued. "Our current focus of maximizing portfolio collections and servicing our best dealer relationships should serve us well as the economy and capital markets stabilize and recover throughout 2009 and into 2010."

Revenues for the fourth quarter dropped by about $34.9 million, or 31.9 percent, to $74.6 million. This is compared with $109.5 million in revenues for the fourth quarter of 2007.

Meanwhile, total operating expenses for the fourth quarter of 2008 were $111.9 million, an increase of $8.4 million, or 8.1 percent, as compared with $103.5 million in the prior year, according to the company.

Net loss for the quarter was $23.4 million, compared with a net income of $3.5 million for the fourth quarter of 2007.

"The financial results for the fourth quarter of 2008 were negatively impacted by an increase in the provision for credit losses due to the weakening economy combined with reduced net interest margin as the managed portfolio has declined," officials indicated.

Looking at the year, CPS reported that revenues decreased by about $26.1 million, or 6.6 percent, to $368.4 million, compared with $394.6 million for 2007.

Operating expenses came in at $411.9 million, up $41.3 million, or 11.1 percent, as compared with $370.6 million for the previous year.

Finally, net loss for the year was 26.1 million, compared with a net income of $13.9 million in 2007.

"As previously reported, the financial results for 2008 were also negatively impacted by the completion of the structured whole-loan sale in September 2008, which resulted in a $14-million loss on sale," executives highlighted.