Sanchez Computer Associates' stock price rose 26% Thursday, to $18.6875 per share, after company officials dispelled investors' concerns over second-quarter earnings.

Speaking at an investors' conference in New York, Sanchez officials said they expect to meet or exceed second-quarter expectations of about $10 million in revenues and earnings per share of 11 cents.

"There were rumors about what our earnings were going to be this quarter, so, in an effort to stave those off, we felt that it was important to get out there and make that statement," said R.J. "Zap" Zlatoper, chief executive officer of the Malvern, Pa.-based company.

Sanchez Computer sells core banking software to large banks.

The company's stock was among the best performers on the Nasdaq in 1997, rising 157% in 1997 largely because of annual revenue growth rates that exceeded 60%, said Charles Wittman, an analyst at Wheat First Union.

The three Wall Street firms that cover Sanchez Computer rate the stock a "buy."

But investors apparently had doubts about whether the company would be able to maintain its rapid growth pace, according to its short interest position listed on Bloomberg News.

Of Sanchez Computer's 12 million shares outstanding, roughly one million shares were sold short. Short-sellers make a bet that a stock price will fall.

"Don't bet against Sanchez," Mr. Zlatoper said. "We are very enthused and optimistic about our future."

Subscribe Now

Access to authoritative analysis and perspective and our data-driven report series.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.