Reviewing Pilgrim's Progress

We take strong exception to Eric Schine's characterization of the performance of our funds in 1994, as reported in "Is Pilgrim making any progress?" (Finance, Jan. 30).

Despite a very difficult stock market and the worst bond market in recent history, Pilgrim's funds outperformed the 25 largest stock funds and are now up 15 of the past 16 years. Pilgrim High-Yield Trust was ranked 18th out of 93 high-yield funds by Lipper Analytical Services Corp.

Pilgrim Prime Rate Trust, our closed-end fund that invests in senior, collateralized floating-rate bank loans, was ranked No.1 in its category by Lipper for the one- and five-year periods ending Dec. 31, 1994.

While it is true that our adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) funds, like many other ARM funds, had poor performance in 1994, it is also true that our ARM funds were the top performers from 1991 to 1993.

Jeffrey S. Lloyd

Vice-President for Marketing

Pilgrim Group

Los Angeles