Bank technology stocks were mixed last week, despite a rise in the general market fueled by indications that the Federal Reserve Bank would not raise the overnight federal funds rate Tuesday.
Analysts said a poor earnings report from Hewlett-Packard Co. and a dire earnings prediction from Medaphis Corp., an Atlanta-based processor of health care transactions, hindered the progress of bank technology stocks.
The drop in Medaphis' stock price last week was particularly large: from $37.5 to $13.4375.
"A lot of the investors who own Medaphis also own the bank technology stocks," said Richard K. Weingarten, an analyst at Montgomery Securities, San Francisco.
"It seemed like an earnings-based week," he added.
Inflation fears had driven stocks down early in the week following Labor Department's release of the consumer price index for July, which rose 0.3%. Analysts had expected only a 0.2% gain.
By Friday, investors' inflation concerns were allayed as the benchmark 30-year Treasury bond yield fell to 6.76%.
The Dow Jones industrial average closed at 5,689.82, up 8.5 points for the week. The Nasdaq composite closed down 3.6 points at 1133.6.
Goldman Sachs & Co.'s composite index of U.S. traded technology closed Friday at 95.99 down more than 2 points for the week.
In news affecting banks, shares of PMT Services Inc., Nashville, plunged $6.375 after Montgomery Securities' downgrade from "buy" to "hold."
"The downgrade was valuation-based," Mr. Weingarten explained, adding that the company's "fundamentals are still very strong."
"I think their prospects for the quarter are to make or exceed" Wall Street's consensus earnings estimate.
PMT provides credit card authorization and payment services to retail merchants. After adding about 20,000 new contracts in April, the company has relationships with over 100,000 merchants. Its stock traded late Friday at $20.125
In other news, Bisys Group Inc. Little Falls, N.J., reported a net loss of $3.69 million, or 14 cents a share, for the quarter. In the year-earlier quarter, the bank outsourcing and investment services firm recorded net earnings of $629,000, or 3 cents per share.
The recent loss reflected one-time charges related to several recent acquisitions, including the purchase of Document Solutions Inc., Birmingham, Ala.
Excluding the charges, net earnings would have been nearly $11 million, or 42 cents per share, matching Wall Street's consensus estimate. Bisys stock was up $2.375 for the week to close at $37.625
Elsewhere, Security First Network Bank, a recent spinoff from Cardinal Bancshares, announced second-quarter losses of nearly $5.4 million, or $1.13 per share.
Security First incurred charges related to the acquisition of Five Paces Inc., which designs software for secure transactions over the Internet.
"The company is in its embryonic stage," said Gary Craft, an analyst at Friedman, Billings, & Ramsey Inc., Arlington, Va.