Most bank technology stocks took a nosedive last week, as investors sold shares in anticipation of weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter earning reports.
Some financial systems firms recovered late in the week after a 164- point drop in the Dow Jones industrial average Tuesday and Wednesday, as investors snapped up shares that suddenly looked like bargains.
Banctec Inc. said on Wednesday it expects to take a fourth-quarter charge of $85 million mainly due to costs related to its merger with Recognition International Inc.
The Dallas-based banking software developer and manufacturer of check processing systems said the mergers charges should lead to a net loss of $59 million to $61 million for the three months ended Dec. 31.
Bantec officials noted the that the company expects to realize annual costs savings of more than $30 million when it completes the consolidation of manufacturing and service facilities of the two companies, which should be finished by the third quarter of 1996.
Company officials added that they have already cut 350 employees from the firms' combined staff, and they anticipate further reducing the head count by another 150 positions this year.
Grahame N. Clark Jr., Banctec's chairman and chief executive, said that, while the total cost of the merger is expected to be higher than originally estimated, "We are satisfied with the progress of the integration, and we believe we are well on the way to achieving our targeted cost savings. We expect to begin realizing a major portion of the savings beginning in the first quarter."
Credit card processor Total Systems Services Inc. reported higher revenues and net income for the fourth quarter, results that were slightly ahead of Wall Street estimates.
The Columbus, Ga.-based company, which is 80.8% owned by Synovus Financial Corp., reported that net income for the last three months of 1995 totaled $9.5 million, or 14.8 cents per share, a 33% increase over the year-earlier period. A consensus of Wall Street analysts expected Total System to earn 14 cents a share for the quarter.
Revenues for the fourth quarter were $71.1 million, an increase of 32% from the same period in 1994.
"We exceeded our expectations and are very pleased with our performance for 1995," said Richard W. Ussery, Total System's chairman and chief executive.
"In 1996 we will remain focused on installation of our new cardholder software TS2, exploration of new products and services, improving productivity, and maintaining high quality in delivery of core services."
Equifax Inc., another firm in the payments business, said Thursday it expects to report record-breaking earnings and revenues for 1995, and that it anticipates growth in both its international and domestic business in 1996.