Gresham, Metavante and Morningstar lead Finextra50 higher

Gresham, Metavante and Morningstar lead Finextra50 higher

Better-than-expected earnings results for US firms Morningstar and Metavante, along with a positive outlook at UK-based Gresham Computing, helped push the Finextra50 index up 2.2 per cent to 87.69 in its anniversary week.

Top gainers

The appointment of industry expert Eric Sepkes as executive chairman and talk of better-than-expected trading in the first quarter of the year helped push up shares in UK fintech house Gresham Computing last week.

Despite posting pre-tax losses of £2.9 million for the year ending December 31 2007, compared to a loss of £414,000 in 2006, and a fall in group revenue to £13.4 million in the year, from £14.5 million in 2006, Gresham saw its stock rise 35.92% to close the week at 70 pence.

Chicago-based investment research firm Morningstar was also a major gainer in the index last week with the stock rising 24.08% to finish the week at $71.84 after a set of strong first quarter results prompted analyst Keefe Bruyette upgraded the firm from "market perform" to "outperform". Morningstar net income rose 46.2% to $23.1 million in Q108, compared with $15.8 million in the previous year. The firm reported consolidated revenue of $125.4 million in the first quarter of 2008, a 31.4% increase on the same period last year.

US payments processor Metavante also performed well on the back of market beating first quarter results and saw its shares rise 19.85% to close at $23.61 on Friday. The Marshall & Ilsley spin-off posted net income for the first quarter of $35.0 million while revenue jumped 10% to $424.6 million from $387.2 million.

Shares in Indian vendor 3i Infotech also finished the week up after it acquired US payment and document processing firm Regulus Group for US$80 million, with additional consideration of up to $20 million. The stock rose 12.18% to close the week at Rs131.70 on the back of the acquisition.

Other big gainers last week include:

Losers
At the other end of the scale, just two companies listed in the index dropped more than 4% last week - and both fell after strong rises the previous week.

Shares in investment management system vendor Advent Software fell 11.54% to $38.34 at close of business on Friday, despite the firm posting higher first quarter net income of $2.6 million, compared with $0.4 million last year.

Credit scoring specialist Fair Isaac fell 8.13% to $24.53 on weaker than expected second quarter results. Net income fell 37% to $13.48 million for the second quarter 2008, on revenue up 1% at $193.2 million.

A year of the Finextra50
The first year of the Finextra50 has seen turbulent markets and the global credit crunch hit firms hard. Some companies have managed to weather the storm better than others.

The best performing stocks over the life of the index have been:

The five biggest losers over the year are:

Australian pensions and wealth management technology vendor Bravura Solutions may be replaced in the index next week after its board recommended a A$272 million takeover offer from private equity outfit Ironbridge Capital.


Index comparison


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

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