Bank technology stocks were mostly higher last week as investors anticipated better economic news.
In week of trading shortened by the Good Friday holiday, the Dow Jones Industrial average slipped back Thursday from its new high set the previous day, the 19th record this year.
Analysts said investors were jittery, awaiting Friday's release of March employment statistics from the Labor Department.
In news affecting bank technology companies, General Motors Corp. announced Monday its board of directors had approved a spinoff of its Electronic Data Systems unit to stockholders of GM's Class E shares.
The Class E shares, representing a dividend interest in EDS' earnings rather than an equity interest, will be exchanged for an equal number of common shares in EDS under the spinoff plan. EDS also will pay GM $500 million in a one-time dividend.
Officials said the spinoff still must be approved by shareholders of all three classes of GM stock.
The automaker also won some price concessions concerning ongoing information-technology contracts that could reduce EDS' 1996 earnings by 7 cents to 14 cents per share, officials said.
Executives at Plano, Tex.-based EDS said it will offer early retirement to 2,800 workers as part of a restructuring, and would book a pretax charge of $500 to $750 million in the second quarter.
In other news, the bank software firm CFI Proservices Inc. announced Tuesday it had acquired two affiliates of Atlanta-based Microbilt Corp. for $5.5 million in cash.
The units, OnLine Financial Communications Systems Inc. and Coin Banking Systems Inc. should have revenues of about $10 million in 1996, CFI officials said. They added that the acquisition should a have a positive contribution to earnings this year.
OnLine Financial develops PC-based branch automation systems and has about 1,000 customers in U.S. Coin Banking serves more than 150 banks with software used in indirect lending. CFI officials added that they intend to retain 108 former Microbilt employees in Atlanta.
"These acquisitions will enable CFI to enter the indirect lending market with a strong software solution and to expand our customer base considerably," said Matt Chapman, chairman and chief executive officer of the Portland, Ore., firm. "CFI will continue to support existing customers of both OnLine and Coin. We will also introduce our Encore line of graphical teller and platform solutions to the OnLine customer base."
"Our decision to divest these highly successful businesses resulted from the strategic redirection for Microbilt following our...recent merger with First Data Corp.," said C. Steve Young, president of Microbilt. "CFI will provide an excellent opportunity for continued growth of these companies. Microbilt, in turn, will be permitted to focus on our new strategic mission with First Data."