Several of the bank technology companies that recently reported third-quarter earnings beat analysts’ estimates.

Entrust Technologies Inc. of Plano, Tex., which makes Internet security software, said it earned $1.2 million, or 2 cents per share. That is 33% less than in the second quarter, but the consensus of analysts polled by First Call/Thomson Financial was that the company would earn nothing.

Kevin Wagner, an analyst at Adams Harkins, said Entrust beat expectations by completing more midsize, shorter-term deals, which helped diversify its revenue stream. Reliance on bigger, longer-term deals hurt performance in the second quarter, when four major contracts fell through, he said.

Third-quarter earnings at Deluxe Corp. of St. Paul, one of the nation’s largest check printers, rose 0.61% from the same period last year, to $49.4 million, or 68 cents a share, beating the First Call consensus by 4 cents.

Tina Larsson, an analyst at Horizon Research Group of New York, said analysts generally overestimated the speed at which electronic payment would make check printing, Deluxe’s core business, obsolete.

In fact, Deluxe’s eFunds electronic payments division, which Deluxe hopes to spin off by yearend, is not yet profitable, she said. “If you take away the losses for eFunds, Deluxe’s earnings would be even higher than they show now,” Ms. Larson said.

Jack Henry & Associates Inc. of Monett, Mo., which sells data processing software, reported last Tuesday that it had earned $11.9 million in the quarter that ended Sept. 30, the first of its fiscal year. That was 40% more than a year earlier, and the per-share figure, 27 cents, beat the analyst consensus by a penny.

John Schneller, an analyst with CIBC World Markets, said Jack Henry’s revenues “hit record levels because of increasing demand at community banks and credit unions for a cost-effective means of competing with larger banks.”

Glenn Greene, an analyst at ABN Amro, said he was “encouraged by the strong internal growth rate and backlog, as well as the momentum that Jack Henry is seeing in sales of its complementary products and services.”

Also beating the Street’s estimates by a penny was SunGard Data Systems, a Wayne, Pa., provider of investment- and securities-related processing services, whose third-quarter net income rose 34% from last year, to $58.5 million, or 43 cents per share.

First Data Corp., an Atlanta electronic payments and credit card processor, beat estimates by 5 cents. Third-quarter income rose 16.3% from a year earlier, to $236.4 million, or 58 cents a share.

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