IRVINE, Calif. — Consumer Portfolio Services announced a climb in managed receivables and took action to reduce contract purchases in the first quarter to better stay in line with the current economic environment.

For the quarter, CPS said it purchased $176.1 million of contracts from dealers, compared with $265.8 million during the fourth quarter of 2007 and $330.3 million during the first quarter of 2007.

Moreover, the company's managed receivables came in at about $2.09 billion as of March 31, an increase of $365.4 million, or 21.2 percent, from about $1.7 billion.

Annualized net charge-offs for the quarter reached 6.66 percent of the average owned portfolio, compared with 5.12 percent during the 2007 quarter.

Additionally, delinquencies greater than 30 days (including repossession inventory) came in at 4.82 percent of the total owned portfolio, as compared to 3.55 percent as of March 31, 2007.

Despite the lower purchases and higher delinquencies, CPS said total revenues for the period jumped about $16.8 million, or 19.4 percent, to $103.3 million, compared with $86.5 million for the first quarter of 2007.

Total operating expenses for the first quarter were $99.5 million, an increase of $18.4 million, or 22.7 percent, as compared with $81.1 million for the 2007 period.

Pretax income for the first quarter declined to $3.8 million, compared with pretax income of $5.4 million for the first quarter last year.

Net income for the quarter was $2.1 million, or 11 cents per diluted share, compared with net income of $3.2 million, or 14 cents per diluted share, a year ago.

Subsequent to quarter end, CPS noted the completion of its first securitization since September of last year. It sold $244.4 million of triple A rated asset-backed notes.

"While our financial results for the first quarter of 2008 were not immune to the ongoing capital markets turbulence and economic slowdown, we are pleased to have been able to continue to build the equity base of the company," explained Charles Bradley Jr., chief executive officer.

"In addition, with the completion of our securitization last week (a few weeks ago), we have significant borrowing capacity available under our warehouse credit facilities. As a result of the credit tightening changes and price increases we have implemented over the last six months, we should be well positioned once the capital markets stabilize," he concluded.