Broadway & Seymour reported a big fourth-quarter loss last week, but the stock of the bank software and systems integrator rose as the flow of red ink was somewhat less than expected.

Broadway & Seymour reported a net loss for the three months ended Dec. 31 of $16.7 million, or $1.84 per share, compared with net income of $2.5 million, or 29 cents per share, in the year-earlier period.

Despite the earnings downturn, investors were heartened by the fact the loss was smaller than anticipated. Officials at the Charlotte, N.C., company said last month they expected to report a fourth-quarter loss of about $20 million.

For the entire year, Broadway & Seymour reported a net loss $11.4 million, or $1.26 per share, compared with 1994 net income of $7.2 million, or $0.85 per share.

Revenues also fell on a yearly basis. Sales totaled $114.7 million last year, while revenue reached $132.9 million in 1994.

David A. Finley, a former chief executive of IBM Credit Corp. who joined Broadway & Seymour last month as chief financial officer, said, "While the results for the year were disappointing, the company is now well under way in restructuring operations.

"We have undergone extensive strategic and tactical planning during the fourth quarter of 1995 in an effort to assess the strength of our core businesses, determine the markets and products for concentrated focus, address weaknesses in project control processes, and identify and eliminate inefficiencies and unnecessary costs," Mr. Finley added. "We fully expect our 1996, and future year results, to demonstrate our commitment to healthy growth and profitability."

Common stock of Broadway & Seymour, traded on the Nasdaq market, closed Friday at TK per share, up TK for the week.

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