National Data Corp. has come a long way from its inception as a credit card authorization and transaction processor, surviving a frenetic period in the 1980s when it provided services such as operator assistance for Sprint customers and telemarketing for Ginsu knives.

Since chairman and chief executive Robert A. Yellowlees took the reins 2#1/2 years ago, he streamlined operations, refocusing the company on its core businesses. With investor confidence restored, the stock price tripled.

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