Orc hit by downgrade as Factset rises on positive Q2

Orc hit by downgrade as Factset rises on positive Q2

The Finextra50 Financial Technology Index held steady at 83.49 last week. Orc Software led the fallers, dropping almost 18% after analysts downgraded the company based on exposure to the weak US dollar. Factset Research Systems led the gainers after reporting second quarter earnings and reassuring the market that Bear Stearns was not a major client of the firm.

In a short week of trading due to market closures for Easter, the Finextra50 rose by just .45%. But this steady performance masks plenty of ups and downs among index constituents.

Factset Research Systems finished the week the strongest, rising 11.27% to $54.52 after second-quarter earnings were in line with analyst expectations.

On Monday, Factset stock had approached a 52-week low, driven mainly by the market moving news of the Bear Stearns bail-out. On Tuesday it released its earnings, including a statement that the company would not be affected by the Bear Stearns situation. According to analysts, the company's top 10 clients make up about 18% of total sales, but Bear Stearns is not among the top 10.

Factset's second-quarter revenues were up 20.5% to $140.2 million, with earnings per share up slightly to 59 cents, up from 52 cents for the same quarter in 2007.

Metavante was another strong gainer last week, rising 7.45% to $21.05 after disclosing details of a deal to process and settle transactions for Nacha's Secure Vault Payments. This new system allows consumers to conduct e-commerce and bill payment transactions without sharing personal or account information online.

Offshore IT services firm Cognizant also fared well last week, gaining 6.38% to finish Thursday at $29.01. During the week it reported a partnership with Germany's T-Systems, a division of Deutsche Telekom. This deal is being positioned as increasing the geographic footprint of both companies. For Cognizant it provides better access to the German market, which is seeing growth in offshoring generally and also has a large SAP install base for Cognizant to target with its services teams focused on the software.

Other companies to see gains larger than five per cent were Australia's Iress Market Technology, which was up 6.65% to AUD$6.74; and SEI Investments, which rose 5.34% to $25.44.


Orc Software led the index's fallers last week, dropping 17.99% to finish at SKr118.50 after analysts at Danske Securities downgraded the company from "hold" to "sell". In a research note published last week, the analysts point out that faster growth in the North American, Asian and Australian regions than in Europe have seen the company's revenue mix change. With a high proportion of revenues coming in the weaker US dollar, and the majority of its costs being incurred in Swedish kronor, this is likely to impact earnings. As a result the analysts are dropping their 2008 earnings estimate by five per cent and 2009 earnings by nine per cent.

Fidessa and Patsystems were dragged down by a weak finish for the UK market last week and fears of their exposure to large capital markets clients suffering from the current crisis. Fidessa was down 17.81% to 690 pence while Patsystems ended the week down 11.49% to 23.50 pence.

Indian fintech stocks also continued their downward spiral of recent weeks. Mphasis was down a further 14.76% to Rs162.90. Nucleus Software also fell 14.47% to Rs195.00, while 3i Infotech dropped 11.44% to Rs89.00.


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

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