Acxiom Announces Record Third Quarter

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Acxiom Corp., a customer data integration company, reported yesterday that it achieved record revenue and earnings for the third quarter of fiscal 2001.


Highlights from the quarter, which ended Dec. 31, include:


• AbiliTec sales momentum continued with the completion of 12 contracts for the software totaling more than $26 million in revenue and one contract in Australia.


• Several major corporations, including Microsoft, BMC Software and USA Networks, signed AbiliTec software license agreements.


• The completion of 19 long-term contracts in the third quarter were worth about $93 million over the life of the contracts.


• Additional AbiliTec alliances were completed in the quarter with IBM, PricewaterhouseCoopers, MatchLogic, Protagona Worldwide and Access Data Integration Systems LLC.


• Year to date, Acxiom closed three end-user channel partner deals for AbiliTec, with Siebel Systems, Oracle and USAdata.


• Revenue increased 27 percent on continuing operations, excluding the effects of divested operations.


• Income from operations was $58.3 million, up 26 percent, and net earnings were $32.8 million, up 24 percent.


• Earnings were 34 cents per share, meeting consensus analysts' estimates.


"AbiliTec continues to be a major contributor to our success," said Charles D. Morgan, Acxiom company leader. "And the AbiliTec sales pipeline continues to be strong for both direct and channel partner sales. We expect to see accelerating channel partner driven end-user sales in the quarter ending in March and are confident we'll continue the success we have had with direct sales of AbiliTec."


Acxiom, Little Rock, AR, said there would be more opportunities for AbiliTec to grow as companies implement customer relationship management strategies. Applications for AbiliTec also continue to arise, most notably the ability to assist companies in implementing their consumer privacy policy strategies. The passage of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley legislation, which has significant ramifications for the financial services industry, represents a significant opportunity for AbiliTec.


The company said it expects that revenue growth for the remainder of the fiscal year will be at least 25 percent more than the year-ago period after adjusting for divested operations and any unusual sales levels for computer equipment, such as client servers, associated with delivering data warehouse solutions.


In addition, Acxiom said it expects that AbiliTec revenues for this fiscal year could be $90 million to $125 million.


Acxiom said it continued to expect fiscal 2001 operating earnings per share to grow more than 20 percent. For fiscal 2002, which begins April 1, the company said it expects operating earnings to grow 25 percent or more.


The company expects to spend $100 million to $120 million for capital in fiscal 2001.


The company also said it will announce several new products in the next few weeks that it expects will add to earnings in the next quarter and the 2002 fiscal year.
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