Bank technology stocks mainly drifted lower last week, breaking a monthlong rally that boosted many firms' shares to their highest levels in a year.
Investors seemed to be engaged in some end-of-quarter profit taking, especially after technology issues had a sizzling June.
Technology firms were the focus of at many investor conferences this month. Executives at trust software developer National Computer Systems Inc. made a presentation last week at Piper Jaffray's 17th annual conference that was favorably received by the institutional investors.
In a Wall Street Journal article that appeared last week, Neal P. Miller, a mutual fund manager with Fidelity Investments Inc. said he was impressed with National Computer's management, particularly its chief executive, Russ Gullotti, who recently left a senior position at Digital Equipment Corp. to run the Eden Prairie, Minn.-based firm. In addition to its trust systems, National Computer makes forms-scanning equipment for the education market.
"The new management is very good, and the company has very high market shares," Mr. Miller said. "I think the company has some latent growth."
National Computer's common stock closed at $20.75 a share Friday, unchanged for the week.
Long-distance telephone carrier Worldcom Inc. announced last week that it had reduced its stake in payment processor Comdata Holdings Corp. to 7.7% of the firm's outstanding common stock.
Worldcom officials said they sold 600,000 common shares on June 21 at $14.06 a share. The Jackson, Miss.-based company now owns 1.29 million shares, executives added.
In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Worldcom said it had bought the original stake for investment purposes. The company acquired the shares of Brentwood, Tenn.-based Comdata with its acquisition of Advanced Telecommunications Corp. in 1992.
Comdata's common stock closed at $l5.375 a share Friday, up $1.25 for the week.
Vista Information Solutions Inc., a developer of geographic data base systems used for compliance and risk management functions in banks, said the were close to an alliance agreement with a unit of Equifax Inc.
Eden Prairie, Minn.-based Vista said its new geographic underwriting system, developed with Insurance Services Office Inc., could soon be available over an electronic network managed by Equifax Insurance Services.
Insurance Services is a nonprofit company that provides information about the property and casualty business.
The deal is contingent on Equifax and Insurance Services reaching an agreement on offering electronic access to each other's products, Vista officials said.
Atlanta-based Equifax closed Friday at $33.375 a common share, down 87.5 cents for the week.
Credit scoring systems developer Fair, Isaac & Co. completed a 2-for-1 stock split last week.
The San Rafael, Calif.-based firm's common stock closed at $29.75 a share Friday, up $2.125 for the week.