Transaction Systems Architects Inc. put out a profit alert last week, blaming an unexpected year-2000-related slowdown in software sales to banks.
The Omaha-based company, which sells electronic payment processing software, said the revenues it now expects for the current quarter, the first of its fiscal 2000, would push revenues for the full year 4% below the projected $395 million to $410 million.
Transaction Systems' stock fell 37% Wednesday, the day of the warning, to a low of $20.25 per share. Volume that day was 7.5 million shares, far higher than the average of less than 250,000.
The stock has since recovered, trading at midday Friday at $27.0625, down $7.75, or 22%, for the week.
Banks have "totally locked down their systems prior to Y2K," said William Fisher, chairman of the board of Transaction Systems. "Although forecasted for some time, the extent of the lockdown and its effect on system upgrades has surprised us and affected our current-quarter revenue," he said.
"Our core customers' attention span for new initiatives is very short right now," Mr. Fisher said, "as they focus on the pressure of the closely watched millennium cutover."
Mark Wolfenberger, an analyst at Credit Suisse First Boston, said the year-2000 effect on the company is not surprising. Many technology vendors are experiencing similar disruption in their revenues, he said.
Transaction Systems' ability to compete is "unscathed and remains unparalleled in the industry," Mr. Wolfenberger said. He reiterated his buy rating and $45 price target, calling the stock undervalued.
He said, however, that if the stock does not recover soon the company would probably become an acquisition target.