Acxiom Declares 4Q Loss, Acquires LiveRamp for $310M

by Luke Jones  on Wednesday, May. 14, 2014 3:53 pm  

Scott Howe, CEO of Acxiom Corp. of Little Rock. (Photo by Jason Burt)

Acxiom Corp. of Little Rock on Wednesday posted a loss of $29.2 million for its final quarter of fiscal 2014, a 320 percent drop from the same quarter of 2013. The data services firm also announced the acquisition of LiveRamp, a digital marketing service, for $310 million.

According to a news release, fourth-quarter revenue was $277 million, flat compared to the same time last year but in line with analyst expectations. Marketing and data services accounted for $209 million of that, up 3.6 percent; information technology services were $58.8 million, down 9.8 percent; and other services were $8.64 million, down 8.2 percent.

The company said the quarterly loss amounted to 38 cents per diluted share compared to earnings of 18 per share in the same quarter of fiscal 2013.

The news release attributed the loss to "non-cash impairment charges" of $28.8 million associated with operations in Europe.

In a conference call with analysts, the company said these costs had to do with changing and reducing its European business. It also said that capital expenses related to this transition could reach $125 in the coming fiscal year.

Acxiom also announced year-end results, with net earnings of $8.86 million in 2014, down 85 percent from 2013, and revenue of $1.09 billion, flat with 2013.


Acxiom expects its acquisition of LiveRamp of San Francisco to close by mid-summer.

"This is a win for the entire marketing industry," CEO Scott Howe said in a news release. "This deal brings together the world's leading marketing data company with the emerging leader in data onboarding to create the industry's most comprehensive network of connections. Together, we will accelerate our vision of a connected ecosystem that delivers true one-to-one marketing at scale."

LiveRamp has about 70 employees in San Francisco and will keep its leadership and offices there, Acxiom said.

Acxiom said the deal will allow it to reach almost 100 percent of adults in the U.S. with targeted advertising. Acxiom expects to extend that reach to Europe and Asia within a year.

The company also noted that it had signed seven new clients for its Audience Operating System, won 15 awards in the 2014 Internet Advertising Competition and announced partnerships with comScore Inc., Marketo Inc. and Shift.



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