Bank technology stocks continued their spring growth last week, joining the spirited rally in the overall equities market.
Analysts said the technology sector is benefiting from a rebounding dollar, as foreign investors clamored to join the U.S. bull market that is well underway.
Bank outsourcer and software firm Fiserv Inc. announced Wednesday that it had reached an agreement to acquire trust company Lincoln Holdings Inc., for an undisclosed sum.
Fiserv officials said Englewood, Colo.-based Lincoln's primary subsidiary, Lincoln Trust Co., is the largest privately held independent trust company in the nation. Formed in 1957, Lincoln Trust specializes in the administration of self-directed individual retirement accounts.
"The acquisition of Lincoln Holdings and Lincoln Trust is a strategic move for Fiserv, and it will strengthen our position in this important market," said George D. Dalton, chairman and chief executive officer of Milwaukee-based Fiserv.
Mr. Dalton added the acquisition would be "complementary" to investment services Fiserv already offers through its Denver-based First Trust Corp. subsidiary.
First Trust administers more than over 265,000 retirement plans with an asset value of $12.56 billion; Lincoln Trust currently administers 96,000 plans worth $4.4 billion, officials said.
"Lincoln Trust will its maintain identity within the market," said Robert Beriault, chief executive officer of Lincoln Trust Co. "We will continue to concentrate on our specific areas of expertise while expanding our service capabilities through the added financial strength and resources of Fiserv."
Fiserv's common stock closed at $27.25 a share Friday, up 12.5 cents for the week.
Payment processor National Data Corp. announced Tuesday that it has acquired a nationwide electronic medical claims clearing house.
Atlanta-based NDC said it purchased for an undisclosed price the electronic clearing house, called Claim-Net, from Physician Practice Management Inc.
Claim-Net operates a medical claims network connecting over 1,000 physicians and insurance companies. By using the data network, health care providers can improve accuracy of claims submissions and payments, NDC officials said.
Shares of National Data closed Friday at $20.625 each, up $1.25 for the week.
CS First Boston said Wednesday that telecommunications and outsourcing firm Alltel Corp. had been downgraded from a "buy" rating to a "hold" rating.
Little Rock-based Alltel's common stock closed at $24.50 a share Friday, down 37.5 cents for the week.