Online Resources Corp.'s shares fell more than 30% Wednesday morning after the banking technology vendor announced it turned its back on an unsolicited acquisition bid and reported a disappointing first-quarter earnings forecast.
The Chantilly, Va., company, which sells bill payment, e-commerce and other software to banks, said Tuesday that it launched a new long-term strategy that involves consolidating its various product platforms in lieu of entertaining a sale. Online Resources in January announced it received unsolicited "expressions of interest" in doing a potential deal with an unnamed suitor.
"The Board of Directors determined that the completion of a transaction on acceptable terms was unlikely at this time and that the best course of action to achieve the highest shareholder value is to continue to aggressively pursue our long-term strategic growth plan," Joseph Cowan, the company's president and chief executive, said in a press release.
Online Resources reported fourth-quarter sales of $37.8 million, down 1.2% from a year earlier partly due to lower renewals of bill pay software clients.
The company reported a net loss attributable to common stockholders of $2 million, or 6 cents per diluted share, compared with a net loss of $1.1 million, or 4 cents per diluted share, a year earlier.
Analyst reaction to the results was mixed.
Thomas McCrohan, an analyst with Janney Montgomery Scott, downgraded the company's shares to "neutral" from "buy," citing a weak forecast and an "uninspiring" outlook for the full year as well as its decision to move forward as a standalone company.
"We believe the recent run-up in the stock price was more predicated on investors' expectations of a possible take out, and with that off of the table, we are stepping to the sidelines," McCrohan wrote in a research note on Wednesday.
Online Resources said it expects revenue in the first quarter of $38.2 million and $38.7 million and a net loss of 1 cent to 2 cents per share.
John Kraft, an analyst with D.A. Davidson & Co., wrote in a research note published Wednesday that the guidance was "well below" his expectations. However, Kraft reiterated his "buy" rating of the company, which he wrote is "in the early stages of a turnaround" that he predicts will result in a sale.
Online Resources' shares were down 31.4% at $4.15 on Wednesday morning.