DST Systems Reviews Strategic OptionsAugust 5, 2011Chris KentourisAfter insisting it wants to stay independent, DST Systems on Friday came close to confirming it was on the block.Like what you see? Click here to sign up for Securities Technology Monitor's weekly newsletter to get the latest news and analysis that matters to the effective operation of capital markets.Last month, DST said it was not entertaining discussions with any party regarding a sale of the company and didn’t think its stock price was representative of its long-term intrinsic value. Therefore, it couldn’t entertain a takeover.But on Friday, the Kansas City, Mo. based firm which provides recordkeeping and other services to mutual funds and broker-dealers, said that it hired Bank of America Merrill Lynch and law firm Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP to advise its board. Stinson Morrison Hecker LLP is providing legal advice.“The board of directors of DST Systems, Inc continuing its long standing practice of engaging in an ongoing review of the Company’s business plan, assets and investment portfolio,” said DST in a statement on Friday.In that same statement, DST also confirmed that it rejected a bid from Russell Glass, the founder of RDG Capital LLC, that he and two other people be added to its board. Glass said in June he made a bid to buy DST.DST’s stock dropped $2.92 a share or six percent to $45.91a share on Thursday giving the firm a market value of $2.1 billion.DST’s news on Friday followed a dismal second quarter earnings report; second quarter earnings fell 41 percent to $55.2 million from the year earlier period due to a large payment the firm received when a customer dropped its contract last year.The 2010 figure included a $58 percent termination payment. Eliminating the payment from earnings, DST’s earnings declined 14 percent to $49.4 million from $57.6 million the year earlier in large part due to a decline in the number of registered accounts it handles. Revenues declined 9 percent in the 2011 second quarter to $424.1 million.After insisting it wants to stay independent, DST Systems on Friday came close to confirming it was on the block.

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