A second week of positive earnings reports helped push most bank systems stocks higher, as investors returned to the technology sector in droves.

Fiserv Inc., the bank outsourcing and software firm, announced last week that second-quarter earnings grew 19%, to $12 million, or 28 cents per share, from a year earlier. The company's earnings per share were in line with most Wall Street analysts' expectations, according to First Call Corp.

Officials at Milwaukee-based Fiserv said second-quarter revenues rose 24%, to $173.5 million.

The quarterly financials included results from banking software firm Information Technology Inc., which Fiserv acquired for $365 million in cash and stock last May.

"During the second quarter, we went a long way toward strengthening our total business," said George D. Dalton, Fiserv's chairman and chief executive officer. "We continued to expand our market position with strategic acquisitions, build revenues while reducing costs, strengthen our client relationships, and increase our product offerings."

Another bank systems firm, Charlotte, N.C.-based Broadway & Seymour Inc., said second-quarter earnings rose 46%, to $2.2 million.

Earnings per share came to 24 cents for the period, up from 18 cents per share in the corresponding quarter last year. Analysts had expected Broadway & Seymour to earn 22 cents per share in the quarter, according to First Call, a unit of Thomson Corp., which also owns the American Banker.

Broadway & Seymour's second-quarter revenues rose 27%, to $35.7 million.

SEI Corp., a trust systems developer and mutual fund administrator based in Wayne, Pa., said profits rose 9% in the second quarter, to $55.7 million, though earnings were flat because of the company's "substantial investments in sales, marketing, and technology," officials said.

Net income for the second quarter was $4.5 million, or 23 cents per share. Analysts were forecasting 26 cents per share for the period, First Call reported.

SEI officials said they have redefined reporting segments around two core product lines. One group is investment technology and services - made up of the company's trust systems and proprietary mutual fund business. The other segment consists of the company's liquidity management, asset management, and other mutual fund businesses.

SEI's investment technology and services segment reported that its operating profit grew 13%, to $10.5 million, in the second quarter.

SEI executives also noted that since the beginning of this year, the company has bought back 830,000 common shares as part its stock repurchase program, at a cost of $17.3 million.

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