Bank technology stocks ended last week mostly lower, even though bullish investors continued to push the overall equities market to new highs.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average continued to set records last week, although it fell Friday as money managers decided to engage in some end-of- quarter profit taking.
But most publicly held financial systems firms did not kept pace, instead continuing to take part in a mini-slump in the technology sector. Wall Street analysts have expressed concerns that if the dollar remains weak, it will dampen technology firms' profits this year.
Dallas-based Banctec Inc. said it expects to reduce its pretax earnings for its fourth fiscal 1995 quarter ended March 26 by about $5 million, mainly due to its settlement of litigation with Advanced Financial Solutions Inc.
As reported last month, a Texas jury returned a $5.5 million verdict against Banctec in a lawsuit over intellectual property rights with Advanced Financial.
In addition to the settlement with Advanced Financial, Banctec officials said part of $5 million charge would cover restructuring costs for its North American business operations.
These charges, along with lower than expected fourth-quarter operating results, will result in reduced earnings for fiscal 1995 compared with fiscal 1994, when the company reported $16.3 million in net profits.
Banctec's common stock closed at $15 a share Friday, down $2 for the week.
Alex. Brown & Sons said last month they have initiated coverage electronic funds transfer software developer Transaction Systems Architects Inc., issuing a "buy" rating for its recently issued common stock.
Cato Carpenter, an analyst at the Baltimore-based investment firm, said his fiscal 1995 estimate of 74 cents per share is "conservative."
Concerning the Omaha-based firm's second fiscal quarter that ended last month, Mr. Carpenter wrote, "Management indicated that revenue will probably exceed plan slightly, (and) expenses again are running under plan due to the slow pace of hiring new staff."
Transaction Architect's common stock closed at $20.875 a share Friday, up $1 for the week.
Technology outsourcer and investment products administrator the Bisys Group announced last week that its shareholders approved its merger with Concord Holding Corp. Under the merger, Concord shareholders received 0.789 of a Bisys share for each Concord share.
Bisys officials said the company will record a one-time, after-tax charge of about $12 million in the fiscal 1995 third quarter ended March 31, to absorb the transaction costs and other merger-related expenses.
Before the Concord deal closed Thursday, San Francisco-based Montgomery Securities announced it has initiated coverage of Bisys, issuing a "buy" recommendation for its common stock.
While noting that Bisys stock had been "adversely affected by uncertainty surrounding the pending merger," Montgomery Securities analyst Richard K. Weingarten said he expected Bisys's earnings to improve significantly in fiscal 1996, reaching $1.25 a share.
"We believe the stock could trade to $27 (a share) over the next 12 to 18 months, providing upside potential of approximately 40%," Mr. Weingarten wrote in his report.