Bucking the bear market, New Era of Networks Inc. stock has skyrocketed this year, fueled by strong demand for the company's software that ties together disparate legacy systems.
The Denver company, known as Neon, sells primarily to the financial services industry and closed Friday at $59.4375, up $2.9375 last week, and 428% year to date.
Founded in 1993 by Rick Adam, former chief information officer at Goldman Sachs & Co., the company underwent an initial public offering in June 1997, raising $33 million.
The five Wall Street analysts who follow Neon have "buy" or "strong buy" ratings on the company, in anticipation of increasing demand for software to help banks and other companies coordinate their back-office computer systems.
Neon's software acts like "prefabricated bridges that you buy and snap into place so systems can talk to each other for a lot less time and a lot less money," said Rehan A. Syed, an analyst at SG Cowen & Co. in Boston.
The success of companies such as Neon indicates that most companies cannot or will not rid themselves of their legacy systems, some of which date to the 1970s, Mr. Rehan said.
Neon's third-quarter revenues were $17.5 million, up 195% from a year earlier. Neon had net earnings of $2.7 million, compared with a loss of $117,000 a year earlier.
Peter Hoversten, a senior vice president at Neon, said part of the company's growth stems from the banking industry's recent slew of mergers.
Neon derives 60% of its revenues from the financial services industry. Most of Neon's senior executives have a financial services background.
Mr. Hoversten, a former manager of technology for Goldman Sachs, said Neon has "exposure to solving these kinds of difficult integration problems."
Neon's competitors include relational data base technology vendors such as Oracle Corp. and Informix Inc., and systems integrators such as Andersen Consulting.