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Tech Industry

HNC spins off Retek

    HNC Software Inc. (Nasdaq: HNCS) was lowered by BB&T Capital Markets from "strong buy" to "long term buy." The company also spun off its Retek division.

    Shares in the business-to-business software company tumbled 64.56 to 17.25 without it Retek division.

    HNCSV, the symbol HNC stand-alone (without Retek) was using, was unchanged at 16.75 Monday.

    The company announced September 20 the final distribution ratio for its shares of Retek Inc. common stock -- 1.243 shares of Retek were paid as a dividend on each share of HNC stock outstanding as of Sept. 15. The dividend was paid on Sept. 29.

    "It's because of the recent appreciation in the stock, which has doubled since May, and was not a reflection of its market value," said analyst Jon Moody in a phone interview. Moody set a $25 price target on the stock.

    "Prior to the spin-out of Retek, we had a $125 price target on the stock," Moody said. Without Retek, he figures the company's core services group is worth $18 to $26 a share --and could earn 75 to 80 cents a share for 2001 -- and its other business is worth $1 to $3 a share.

    "We're nervous about the environment for tech stocks," Moody added.