State-Based Tech Stocks Waver Amid Changes

by Luke Jones  on Monday, Oct. 29, 2012 12:00 am  

That cloud is what's prompting the "buy" rating.

"That's the way you make money in the stock market," Jaegers said. "You buy low when people are worried about everything under the sun."

Jaegers also said CEO Jeff Gardner's words had strengthened her position on the company.

"I've known the management a long time," she said. "I think they have high integrity."

Jaegers said Gardner had historically spoken of preserving the dividend, and his own stock purchases in Windstream seem to confirm that.

"I don't think Jeff is a fool," Jaegers said. "The fact that he's put his own money at stake speaks very loudly."

Windstream's revenue increased 15.46 percent between fiscal 2010 and 2011 from $3.71 billion to $4.29 billion. Its net income fell 46.6 percent from $310.7 million to $169 million.

Meanwhile, at Acxiom

Acxiom Corp., Little Rock's miner of "big data," has seen major fluctuation in its stock prices since the great recession, partly due to drastic changes in management and company vision and partly due to the recession itself.

In 2008, when its stock fell to about $6, "it was going through a busted leverage buyout where it was supposed to be acquired but was not," said Carter Malloy, who covers Acxiom for Stephens Inc. The recession didn't help, either.

But it's recovered since then and is hovering around $16 with analysts aiming at an average of $17.60 by the end of the year. Of the company's five ratings, two rate it "buy," two rate "hold," and one rates it "overweight."

Much of the increased price comes from the company's rearrangement of its values, which included divesting some of its services and hiring multiple new executives.

Stephens, which rates it "overweight," and has a target of $19, cited the company's new management team, including former Microsoft exec Scott Howe, who joined as CEO in August 2011.

"We anticipate the new management team will be able to extract value from Acxiom's core products, and ultimately reignite growth in the company," Malloy said.

Acxiom had revenue of $1.13 billion for its fiscal year ending March 2012, a 2.53 percent decrease from the previous year. Acxiom's income surged almost 300 percent to $43.36 million from a 2011 loss of $151.96 million.



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