Acxiom Corp. Earnings Rise 4 Percent in Third Quarter

by Luke Jones  on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014 5:20 pm  

Scott Howe

(A correction has been made to this article. See the end of this article for details.)

Data broker Acxiom Corp. of Little Rock on Wednesday announced third-quarter net income of $15 million, up 4 percent from the same quarter of 2012.

Diluted earnings per share remained flat at 19 cents, in line with estimates. Earnings came on revenue of about $278 million, up about 2 percent from last the same quarter year and beating analyst estimates. 

About $206 million of revenue came from Acxiom's marketing and data services segment, up 6 percent from 2012. But the $62 million from its information technology management sector was down 11 percent.

In a conference call with investors, CEO Scott Howe said there was "progress" in the company's IT sector, with a $50 million contract recently secured with a "large U.S. corporation."

"This is a great win both for the ITO team and Acxiom," he said.

Revenue from other sources stood at $9 million, down 13 percent.

Howe credited the company's new Audience Operating System product for Acxiom's bump in data revenue.

"We are thrilled with the progress made since our release of the Acxiom Audience Operating System," Howe said in the news release. "After just four months since launch, we now have more than 30 customers that are implementing or testing one or more aspects of AOS."

Howe added that the processing power of AOS "will keep getting better," and that among those 30 clients were Gerber Life Insurance and American Family Insurance, "along with others in several key industries."

He also said that the company had secured some clients in Asia and Australia, with prospects in Europe.

In the call, Howe describe Acxiom as a "neutral, agnostic catalyst," a "data safe haven" in the marketing world.

Warren Jenson, Acxiom's CFO, said during the call that the company in its last quarter was working to reduce its annual cost base by $20 million to $30 million. He said the company was "on track" to meet these cost-cutting goals, which have included an unspecified number of layoffs throughout the company's footprint.

"We're off to a good start," Jenson said. "We're halfway through our de-layering. Next is the separation of our business units. Our separately audited financial statements are nearly complete."

Jenson noted that Acxiom is "carefully looking at" how the company does business globally and intends to focus it down to data marketing and the ASO product.

"We still have a lot of work to do, but we like our hand, and we feel like we're on the right track," Jenson said.

(Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article misstated Acxiom's third-quarter profit. That figure has been corrected.)



Please read our comments policy before commenting.