Acxiom Reports 1Q Loss, Revenue Drops 6 Percent

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Aug. 4, 2014 3:26 pm  

Acxiom Corp. of Little Rock reported a net loss and a 6 percent revenue decline for its first quarter, as the data services firm restructured operations in Europe, saw less money from its IT infrastructure management business and acquired a San Francisco startup called LiveRamp.

Acxiom said total revenue in its fiscal first quarter fell to $242.2 million, down 5.8 percent from $257.2 million in the same quarter last year.

The company also recorded a loss of $6 million, or 8 cents per share, from continuing operations, down from a profit of $12.5 million, or 17 cents, in the same quarter last year. Net loss attributable to Acxiom was $7.6 million, or 10 cents per share, down from a profit of $13.2 million, or 18 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.

The results missed analysts' estimates for profit and revenue.

For the full year, Acxiom (Nasdaq: ACXM) expects revenue from continuing operations to be down about 5 percent compared with the previous fiscal year. Still, CEO Scott Howe struck an upbeat tone in the company's earnings news release, focusing on the firm's LiveRamp acqusition.

"The integration of LiveRamp is off to a great start," Howe said. "This quarter we added seven new [Acxiom Operating System] clients and are in the process of introducing LiveRamp to our customer base. Exciting opportunities lie ahead as we build toward a connected ecosystem of customers, publishers and marketing applications."

Executives expect LiveRamp to be a boost to its newest product, Acxiom Operating System, or AOS. LiveRamp helps collect offline customer data and integrate it with data collected online, making AOS data more complete and leading to better targeted advertising for Acxiom's business clients.

Acxiom is restructing its business to focus on its core marketing and data services business. As part of the restructure, the company sold its call center operation, 2Touch, in the United Kingdom during the quarter. It is also moving away from its IT infrastructure management business.

Acxiom has also been working to cut its cost base by $30 million, a move it first announced in a regulatory filing in November. The plan, expected to take six months to a year, includes an unknown number of layoffs. Acxiom employs about 2,000 people in Arkansas and more than 6,000 worldwide.

Focusing on AOS, the company said gross media spend on the new product was $28 million, up 87 percent form the fourth quarter. Acxiom said it signed seven new AOS agreements during the quarter.



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