2Q Sales, Income Both Up at ABI

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American Business Information, which becomes InfoUSA Aug. 3, this week reported record sales and a substantial increase in net income for the second quarter.

The Omaha, NE, database compiler reported record sales of $62.1 million, a 32 percent increase over the same period a year ago, and net income of $15.1 million or 31 cents per share, a better than 400 percent increase.

Net income and earnings per share were boosted by the $14.4 million in income derived primarily from the sale of 1 million shares of Metromail stock, which increased in value 107 percent after the company declared itself for sale. While ABI ultimately lost the battle for Metromail to Great Universal Stores, its role in the bidding process pushed the final share price up $3 into the $34 range. Exclusive of that gain, pro forma net income rose 15 percent to $7.7 million.

Second-quarter results reflected the completed acquisition of Walter Karl Inc., but didn't include the acquisitions of JAMI Marketing and Contacts Target Marketing.

Sales for the first six months of 1998 were $117.5 million, an increase of 32 percent while net income was $9.1 million or 18 cents per share after a loss of $44.3 million or 93 cents per share last year.

"There is a substantial unmet demand for our database and we are demonstrating the ability to meet demand through our multiple distribution channels, especially the Internet," chairman and CEO Vin Gupta said in a prepared statement.

In the last two weeks, ABI has signed agreements with Yahoo Yellow Pages, GTE's SuperPages, America Online and InfoSpace to offer its business database online. GTE users can purchase customized mailing lists and business credit profiles online through ABI's DataExpress Services. ABI's business and consumer databases are accessible at the InfoUSA site now featured on AOL's Workplace Channel and Research and Learn Channel and 1500 syndicated web sites through a licensing agreement with InfoSpace.

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