Finextra50 rises 2.3% led by Ingenico and Interactive Data

Finextra50 rises 2.3% led by Ingenico and Interactive Data

The Finextra50 Financial Technology Index rose 2.3% last week to 97.58. Ingenico and Interactive Data led the gainers, as US and European markets improved. Meanwhile, ACI and The Innovation Group bucked the positive trend, falling 11.04% and 9.23% respectively.

Major gainers
Payment terminals and software company Ingenico posted the index's biggest gain last week on the back of strong first-half results. It ended the week up 11.84% to EUR20.88 after reporting first-half net profit jumped 49% to EUR12.4 million, compared with EUR8.million a year earlier. The company also reported a 3.5 percentage point increase in gross margin and 3.1 point increase in operating margin. It attributes the increases to a sucessful cost-cutting initiative and integration of the operations of Moneyline, with which it merged last year.

The company expects its planned merger with Sagem Securite, a division of Safran, to complete by the end of this year and expects significant growth in the second half of 2007.

Interactive Data ended up 8.86% to finish at $29.72 during a busy week for its human resources department. Investors reacted positively to news of appointments and role changes that support its plans to align its two largest institutionally-oriented businesses under a single management structure.

The president of Interactive Data Real-Time Services, Mark Hepsworth, will now also fulfil the same role for the Interactive Data Pricing and Reference Data business unit. Ray D'Arcy will now be president of sales and marketing for both business units, unifying client relationship management and client service organisations. And Roger Sargeant, currently managing director of Interactive Data (Europe), will now be responsible for leading the company's international business development strategy and for coordinating related activities in Europe, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific.

Interactive Data also has a new board chairman in Rona Fairhead, who succeeds John Makinson after he resigned from the board after close to five years as chair. Fairhead, who is currently CEO of the Financial Times Group, has served as one of five Pearson-affiliated directors on the company's board since February.

Pegasystems rose 7.2% to $12.35 after announcing a quarterly dividend of $0.03 per share. Orc Software rose 6.87% to SKr171.00 after announcing two new client wins - Swedish securities firm Erik Penser Fondkommission which is using Orc software to power its DMA business and new proprietary trading service; and Matlock Capital, a Chicago-based trading firm, which has deployed Orc Software's Liquidator for its equity options market making solution.

Vasco Data Security traded as high as $37.46 in mid-week, but these gains were pared back after an RBC Capital Markets analyst cut his rating on shares of the security systems maker, saying the stock is overpriced and overexposed to the banking sector. Despite this, Vasco still ended the week up 5.69% on the previous Friday to close at $34.56.

Fundtech also ended the week up, finishing 5.32% higher at $17.41 after announcing that 10 major Israeli banks have moved into production with its Global PAYplus Liquidity Manager product. The banks are using Fundtech software to support their compliance with Israel's new RTGS (Real Time Gross Settlement) regulation, introduced by the Central Bank of Israel on July 2007.

Cognizant finished the week up 5.27% to close at $75.87 as the board of the IT and outsourcing services company approved a $100 million stock buyback program to take place over the next 12 months. Funding will come from cash on hand and cash generated from operations. Cognizant also announced a two-for-one stock split, which it expects to occur around 16 October with a record date of 1 October.

Other companies to post significant increases include Chordiant Software (7.58% to $14.91) Factset Research Systems (7.52% to $64.92) and 3i Infotech (5.95% to Rs145.10).

Major losers
ACI Worldwide shares suffered the index's largest fall last week, ending the week down 11.04% to $23.61 after the payments software company posted a Q3 net loss of $2.7 million (seven cents a share) on Friday compared to a $22.5 profit in 2006, despite revenues jumping by 16% to $98.1 million from $84.8 million.

ACI cut 2007 guidance from earnings of $1.46 to $1.61 per share to 20 to 40 cents per share (adjusted 82 cents to $1.02). Revenue guidance has been adjusted from $430-$442 million down to $390-$400 million.

The firm blamed the poor results on a 48 cent per share loss due to an unfavorable change in its tax rate and one time expenses.

Other companies to see significant share price falls last week were The Innovation Group (down 9.23% to 29.50p), FJH (down 4.73% to EUR2.62), and Computershare (down 4.5% to AUD9.55).

Index comparison

More information on the Finextra50 Financial Technology Index methodology and constituent stocks can be found here.

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