Bank technology stock prices took a battering last week as nervous investors fled to the sidelines in both equities and bonds.
While the blue-chip companies in the Dow Jones industrial Average rebounded slightly Friday after a weeklong decline, the technology firm- laden Nasdaq composite index continued lower, as investors' inflation fears flared.
Among bank systems firms making news last week, Verifone Inc. said it plans to repurchase as many as 800,000 shares of its common stock in open market transactions this year. The company has 24.9 million shares outstanding.
The Redwood City, Calif. maker of card-based transaction systems said the purpose of the buyback was to acquire shares for issuance under its stock option and employee stock purchase programs.
Later in the week, a Verifone executive speaking at an investor conference sponsored by Robertson Stephens & Co. said the Internet was a potentially "explosive marketplace" that would require a buildup in its payment mechanisms.
Roger Bertman, vice president and general manager of Verifone's Internet commerce division, said his company should see "appreciable revenues from its Internet segment during the current calendar year."
Also touting the future for financial services in cyberspace last week was Checkfree chief executive officer Peter J. Kight, who said in an interview with Dow Jones that he expects a third of consumers to be using some form of electronic banking product within five years.
Despite this rosy prospect, Mr. Kight said he expects Columbus, Ohio- based Checkfree to report a loss for 1996, due to high product development and marketing expenses.
He added he doesn't disagree with analysts' forecast that put Checkfree's revenues at $130 million this year, compared with $110 million in 1995. Those figures include the recent acquisition of Servantis Systems Inc., a maker of electronic banking and funds transfer software.
Deluxe Data, a subsidiary of check printer Deluxe Corp., said last week the drug store and supermarket chain Hannaford Brothers Co. had renewed a point of sale processing contract. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Deluxe Data will continue to provide point of sale terminal driving, check authorization, electronic check, and network access to multiple debit and credit networks for Hannaford's more than 100 stores in the Northeast and Southeast.