Carreker agrees to explore sale

Carreker agrees to explore sale

US financial IT and consultancy firm Carreker Corporation has agreed to "explore various strategic alternatives for the company" after shareholders called for a sale of the company.

In a regulatory filing Los Angeles hedge fund manager Chapman Capital, which holds a 5.6% stake in Carreker, has called for the Dallas-based company put itself up for sale.

Chapman says that Carreker's board had been "decidedly derelict" in its duty to maximise the value of the company.

In a statement, Carreker has admitted that several shareholders have "inquired as to the company's strategic planning". The firm has responded by saying that it is looking at "strategic alternatives" including a merger, a sale of the company and other possible transactions.

The vendor says it established a steering committee in November to evaluate the company's strategic direction, and retained Bear Stearns as an adviser shortly afterwards.

Chairman of the board and CEO, JD Carreker, says: "We are working through an orderly process to explore the strategic alternatives available to the Company. We are conducting this process in a deliberate fashion to ensure the realisation of benefits to the company's customers and employees, and to best enhance shareholder value."

The company has struggled over the past 18 months after sales dried up and it was forced to cut its workforce last year and take a charge of $0.7 million against the cost of redundancies.

Last week the firm posted revenue of $27.2 million and a net loss of $34,000 for the first quarter ending April 30 2006, compared to revenue of $30.1 million and net income of $1.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2005.

Furthermore, the company says it expects revenue and net income (loss) for the second quarter to be down from the corresponding quarter in 2005, but predicts improved revenue and net income in fiscal 2006 as compared to fiscal 2005.

Carreker shares closed at $6.30 on Nasdaq yesterday.

However, according to a Reuters report, Chapman Capital has told JD Carreker in a letter that it estimated the vendor's stock to be worth more than $12 a share and it plans a full scale investigation of the company's board.

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