Riding the tide of investors rushing into new technology stock offerings, electronic funds transfer software firm Transaction Systems Architects successfully floated 2.5 million common shares last week.
The stock offering was Transaction Systems' second this year. The Omaha- based firm launched an initial public offering of 2.75 million shares at $15 each last February.
The latest stock sale was completed Thursday, and was underwritten by Goldman Sachs & Co. and Alex. Brown & Sons. It was priced at $24 per common share and raised $60 million.
Existing selling stockholders made up 1.5 million shares of the offering, while the remainder was sold by the company, Transaction Systems officials said. As a result, the firm netted about $22 million.
"We had a strong IPO, and our underwriters thought we could have sold more shares," said William Fisher, chief executive officer of Transaction Systems. "We decided to go back to the market in order to strengthen up our balance sheet a bit, as well as have some cash for acquisitions."
He added the company is looking for selected acquisition targets that are in complementary businesses and that could expand its market reach. The firm's primary product line is software used by some of the world's biggest banks to process bank card transactions coming from automated teller machines and merchant point of sale terminals.
Transaction Systems' stock sale came on the heels of the wildly successful initial public offering Wednesday by Netscape Communications Corp., a developer of software for navigating the Internet. Netscape, which raised about $160 million in its IPO, saw intense investor demand push the stock from the offering price of $28 per share to $74.75, before settling back at $58.25 at the closing bell Wednesday.
While not as well known as Netscape and its pioneering work with the Internet, many investors also appear intrigued by Transaction Systems' electronic payment switching technology, a vital component of the emerging business of "electronic commerce," Wall Street analysts say.
According to Michael Carter, director of investor relations at Transaction Systems, when company officials recently went on a "road show" to discuss the secondary offering with potential investors, doing business in cyberspace was on many people's minds.
"The Netscape IPO seemed to feed investors' questions to us about how we will participate in home banking and electronic commerce," Mr. Carter said. "We told them that those areas are getting a significant share of our R&D investment."