Bank technology stocks were mixed this week, following Thursday's report of a higher than expected increase in the gross domestic product.
The highlight of the week was Computer Sciences Corp.'s announced merger with Continuum Co., the Austin, Tex., software company that bought Hogan Systems in March.
Continuum reported first-quarter earnings of $9,050,000, or $0.47 per share, meeting the consensus of analysts estimates as tracked by First Call Corp.
Affinity Technology Group Inc. also made news, with a successful initial public offering. The Columbia, S.C.-based maker of automated loan machines sold 4.4 million shares, raising $57 million.
National City Corp., Cleveland, said it will spin off up to 20% of its processing and computer services unit, National City Processing Co.
The $50 billion-asset company intends to file a registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an initial public offering.
Banctec Inc., Dallas, reported first quarter earnings of $8.7 million, or 42 cents per share - a sharp rise from $0.5 million for the same period in 1995.
The company's sales were $140.1 million. Banctec's earnings per share exceeded a First Call consensus estimate of 35 cents.
Banctec chairman Grahame N. Clark Jr. said the company's ongoing effort to reduce expenses "is paying off."
"The company's focus during the quarter was on consolidating the service and product engineering operations," he said.
Banctec provides check and credit card processing systems for the banking industry.
Fair, Isaac & Co., a developer of credit scoring systems, said it expects its shares, which have been trading over Nasdaq, to switch to the New York Stock Exchange today.
Peter L. McCorkell, senior vice president at the San Rafael, Calif.- based company, said the move was undertaken in part because of what he termed "ridiculous" spreads and volatility in the company stock on Nasdaq.
The spreads on Nasdaq are typically between $1.25 to $1.50 per share, Mr. McCorkell said. He said a spread of over 50 cents for most companies is "pretty bad."
"The market-makers are really not making a market, they are just taking orders," he said, "so you get these big movements that are not justified by the performance of the company."
Fair, Isaac is the latest company opting for the stability of the Big Board. It follows Banctec and Verifone Inc., which made similar moves last year.
Michael Carter, a director of investor relations with Transaction Systems Architects Inc., said such a switch in listing is "a philosophical decision, and every company probably has its reasons."
Most small and midsize technology companies are listed by Nasdaq, known for its innovative and highly automated trade system.
Nasdaq also lists many thinly traded stocks, which accounts for big movements when there are imbalances between buy and sell orders.
In other news, Concord EFS, Memphis, said it has signed a multiyear deal to process credit and debit transactions for Comdata Network, a Brentwood, Tenn., provider of financial services.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but officials at Concord said the deal could add up to $60 million to its annual revenue, depending on transaction volume.