Prism Financial Corp. late last week showed the market its mettle, chalking up relatively positive financial results for 1999, when the eight-year-old mortgage company tackled extraordinary challenges.

But rough times still lie ahead, analysts say, and the Chicago company indicates that it is continuing to modify its tactics to match market conditions. For Prism, not only was 1999 a miserable time for the mortgage business, but it was also the year in which the company subjected itself to the scrutiny of an initial public offering and suffered the suicide of its chief executive officer.

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