After spending a month in the doldrums, bank technology stocks rebounded last week, buoyed by investors who believe interest rates have stabilized for the foreseeable future.
Electronic Data Systems Corp. saw one of the biggest jumps among technology issues, rising 12% for the week, closing at $37 a share Friday.
EDS officials said Tuesday that they were in talks with Sprint Communications Corp. concerning a merger or strategic alliance. Investors are apparently intrigued by the possible merger, as it would create a company with strengths both in computers and communications - technologies that are rapidly becoming inseparable.
EDS, a unit of General Motors Corp., currently trades on the New York Stock Exchange as GM Class "E" common stock. Any combination with Sprint would require GM to spin off EDS to investors first, officials said.
Banctec Inc., manufacturer of bank software and check processing hardware, reported higher-than-expected quarterly earnings last week. For the fourth fiscal quarter ended March 27, Banctec reported net income of $5.5 million, or 48 cents per share, versus $4.2 million, or 38 cents per share, for the same period last year.
Banctec's revenues for the fourth quarter totaled 79.8 million, up from $60.6 million for the same period last year.
"Fiscal 1994 represented another successful year for Banctec," said Grahame N. Clark Jr., Banctec's chairman and chief executive officer. "We continued our program of broadening the company's focus to include several new areas related to trahsaction processing while achieving our financial performance goals."
Banctec acquired a handful of technology farms during the past 12 months, incleding firms that develop document-imaging systems, community banking software, and electronic funds transfer systems.
Banctec stock closed at $22.50 a share Friday, up 25 cents for the week.
Fiserv Targets 20% Growth
In an interview with Reuters last week, an official at outsourcing company Fiserv Inc. said analysts' 1994 earnings estimates were on target.
President and chief operating officer Leslie Muma said, "We are targeting a 20% growth rate, [with 1994 earing of] 95 cents to 96 cents a share."
He added that most of that increase will come from acquisitions, as internal growth will only total about 5% to 5.5% this year.
Fiserv's stock closed at $20.875 per share Friday, up 37.5 cents for the week.