by Luke Jones
Posted 9/2/2013 12:00 am
Updated 11 months ago
Here’s an update on the status of Acxiom Corp., Little Rock’s resident data miner and frequently named “the biggest company you’ve never heard of” — outside Arkansas, of course.
You may have noticed this month that the logo on the company’s Little Rock headquarters switched to the new, all-lower case version that was unveiled in March.
Acxiom seems to be rolling toward some milestones in 2013, particularly with the promise of a service that will allow customers to look up the data Acxiom has collected on them.
That’s supposed to happen in early September. Acxiom has claimed it has data on 1.1 billion Internet users.
During Advertising Week, a marketing industry convention in late September in New York City, the company is slated to roll out the “Acxiom Audience Operating System,” a new product that is intended to improve the company’s marketing data.
“For the first-time marketers, agencies and publishers will have one-to-one marketing capabilities at scale across all channels and devices,” CEO Scott Howe said in July.
Also, Howe said during the company’s annual meeting that he’s looking to raise awareness of the company through some strategic marketing. You may not see Acxiom commercials on prime-time TV, but he indicated the “biggest company you’ve never heard of” distinction wasn’t entirely to his liking.
There have been a few troubling notes too. You may recall that Howe announced in late July that Acxiom had lost several of its clients from its information technology management sector.
“This is obviously not the result we worked for, nor is it acceptable,” a contrite-sounding Howe told analysts during the company’s first-quarter fiscal 2014 conference call.
Earnings and revenue for that quarter were $13.1 million and $266 million, down 1 and 2 percent from the same quarter last year.
In August, Acxiom laid off about 20 of its marketing employees in Little Rock.
So how is all of this reflected in Acxiom’s stock price?
It’s blossomed since 2012, climbing from a $16.19 low in October and hitting $26.47 in mid-June. But prices have been mostly flat through July, dropping to $25 around the time of the earnings release and sitting at $25.81 as of this writing.
Analysts, for their part, are still bullish on Acxiom and have cited the company’s upcoming products as a source of strength in the stock.
According to MarketWatch, the average recommendation on the stock is overweight and the average target price is $28. No analyst currently recommends selling Acxiom stock.
We’ll see how they feel come the end of September.