Acxiom Announces Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year Results

CONWAY, Ark.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 16, 2018--Acxiom® (Nasdaq: ACXM), the data foundation for the world’s best marketers, today announced financial results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year ended March 31, 2018.

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Fourth Quarter Financial Highlights

Revenue: Total revenue was $245 million, up 9% compared to the fourth quarter of last year. Operating Income (Loss): GAAP operating income was $5 million compared to an operating loss of $9 million in the prior year. Non-GAAP operating income grew 61% to $34 million. Earnings (Loss) per Share: GAAP diluted earnings per share were $0.06 compared to a loss per share of $0.10 in the prior year. Non-GAAP diluted earnings per share were $0.27 compared to $0.15 a year ago. Current period results include a $0.02 GAAP tax benefit and $0.03 non-GAAP tax benefit associated with the recent tax reform legislation. Operating Cash Flow: Operating cash flow was $36 million, up from $31 million in the prior year. Free Cash Flow to Equity: Free cash flow to equity was $14 million, down from $26 million in the prior year.

Fiscal Year Financial Highlights

Revenue: Total revenue was $917 million, up 4% compared to fiscal 2017 driven by 43% year-over-year growth for Connectivity. Operating Income: GAAP operating income was $11 million compared to $16 million in the prior year. Non-GAAP operating income grew 25% to $126 million. Earnings per Share: GAAP diluted earnings per share were $0.29 compared to earnings per share of $0.05 in the prior year. Non-GAAP diluted earnings per share were $0.94 compared to $0.71 a year ago. Current period results include a $0.31 GAAP tax benefit and $0.08 non-GAAP tax benefit associated with the recent tax reform legislation. Operating Cash Flow: Operating cash flow was $112 million, down from $116 million in the prior year. Free Cash Flow to Equity: Free cash flow to equity was $55 million, down from $63 million in the comparable period.

Segment Results $M

A detailed discussion of our non-GAAP financial measures and a reconciliation between GAAP and non-GAAP results is provided in the schedules attached to this press release.

Beginning April 1, 2018, the Company will report its results in two business segments: LiveRamp and Acxiom Marketing Solutions.

“Our fourth quarter performance reflects solid global execution,” said Acxiom CEO Scott Howe. “LiveRamp® continues to drive the ubiquity of its identity solution across the open ecosystem, as evidenced by strong new client adoption, progress with the people-based programmatic consortium, the launch of IdentityLink™ for Television and the acceleration of its B2B efforts. At the same time, Marketing Services had its strongest bookings quarter in over five years driven by several meaningful new logo wins.”

“Looking ahead, we are excited about the prospects for both LiveRamp and Acxiom Marketing Solutions,” continued Howe. “We are well down the road in looking at potential strategic alternatives for Acxiom Marketing Solutions and are confident in a successful outcome that will benefit our clients, partners, associates and shareholders.”

Recent Business Highlights

LiveRamp added approximately 30 new direct clients during the quarter and added several new partner integrations. Marketers can now onboard and activate their data across a growing network of 575 publishers and marketing technology providers. LiveRamp acquired Pacific Data Partners to accelerate its ability to power people-based business-to-business (B2B) marketing. Pieter De Temmerman and Grant Ries, co-founders of Pacific Data Partners and former Oracle and BlueKai veterans, will lead LiveRamp’s efforts to expand IdentityLink to the world’s largest B2B marketers. LiveRamp launched IdentityLink for Television to transform the world’s largest marketing medium. For the first time, brands, agencies, programmers and technology platforms will be able to execute people-based TV media planning, buying and measurement that is scalable and secure across the TV ecosystem. Marketing Services posted its largest new bookings quarter in the last five years, driven by new logo wins with Toyota, Santander Bank and American Life. Acxiom was granted six U.S. patents in fiscal 2018, representing the most patents granted in a single year in the Company’s history. Acxiom repurchased 1.7 million shares for approximately $49 million during the fourth quarter. Since March 31, 2018, the Company repurchased an additional 1.9 million shares for approximately $46 million. Since the inception of its share repurchase program in August 2011, Acxiom has repurchased a total of 21.9 million shares for $420 million, with $80 million remaining under the current authorization.

Financial Outlook

Acxiom’s non-GAAP guidance excludes the impact of non-cash stock compensation, purchased intangible asset amortization, restructuring charges and strategic evaluation support costs.

For fiscal 2019, Acxiom expects to report:

Total revenue of between $935 million and $955 million. GAAP loss per share of between $0.23 and $0.18. Non-GAAP diluted earnings per share of between $0.90 and $0.95.

Conference Call

Acxiom will hold a conference call at 4:00 p.m. CT today to further discuss this information. Interested parties are invited to listen to the call which will be broadcast via the Internet and can be found on our investor site. A slide presentation will be referenced during the call and can be accessed here.

About Acxiom

Acxiom provides the data foundation for the world’s best marketers. We enable people-based marketing everywhere through a simple, open approach to connecting systems and data that drives seamless customer experiences and higher ROI. A leader in identity and ethical data use for nearly 50 years, Acxiom helps thousands of clients and partners around the globe work together to create a world where all marketing is relevant. Acxiom is a registered trademark of Acxiom Corporation. For more information, visit Acxiom.com.

Forward-Looking Statements

This release and today’s conference call contain forward-looking statements including, without limitation, statements regarding expected levels of revenue and earnings per share. Such forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially. The following are factors, among others, that could cause actual results to differ materially from these forward-looking statements: the possibility that the expected revenue from the divisions may not be realized within the expected timeframe; the possibility that our exploration of potential strategic alternatives for Acxiom Marketing Solutions does not have a successful outcome; the possibility that the integration of acquired businesses may not be successful as planned; the possibility that certain contracts may not generate the anticipated revenue or profitability or may not be closed within the anticipated time frames; the possibility that significant customers may experience extreme, severe economic difficulty or otherwise reduce or cancel the amount of business they do with us; the possibility that we will not successfully complete customer contract requirements on time or meet the service levels specified in the contracts, which may result in contract penalties or lost revenue; the possibility that data purchasers will reduce their reliance on us by developing and using their own, or alternative, sources of data generally or with respect to certain data elements or categories; the possibility that data suppliers might withdraw data from us, leading to our inability to provide certain products and services to our clients; the possibility that we may not be able to attract, retain or motivate qualified technical, sales and leadership associates, or that we may lose key associates; the possibility that we may not be able to adequately adapt to rapidly changing computing environments, technologies and marketing practices; the possibility that we will not be able to continue to receive credit upon satisfactory terms and conditions; the possibility that negative changes in economic conditions in general or other conditions might lead to a reduction in demand for our products and services; the possibility that there will be changes in consumer or business information industries and markets that negatively impact the company; the possibility that the historical seasonality of our business may change; the possibility that we will not be able to achieve anticipated cost reductions and avoid unanticipated costs; the possibility that the fair value of certain of our assets may not be equal to the carrying value of those assets now or in future time periods; the possibility that unusual charges may be incurred; the possibility that changes in accounting pronouncements may occur and may impact these forward-looking statements; the possibility that we may encounter difficulties when entering new markets or industries; the possibility that we could experience loss of data center capacity or interruption of telecommunication links; the possibility the European General Data Protection Regulation, which becomes effective May 25, 2018, will make it more difficult and/or costly for us to do business in the EU; the possibility that new laws may be enacted which limit our ability to provide services to our clients and/or which limit the use of data; and the possibility that other risks and uncertainties may emerge, including those detailed from time to time in our current and periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our current reports on Form 8-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and annual reports on Form 10-K, particularly the discussion under the caption “Item 1A. RISK FACTORS” in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended March 31, 2017, which was filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 26, 2017.

With respect to the provision of products or services outside our primary base of operations in the United States, all of the above factors apply, along with the difficulty of doing business in numerous sovereign jurisdictions due to differences in scale, competition, culture, laws and regulations.

We undertake no obligation to update the information contained in this press release or any other forward-looking statement.

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Acxiom, LiveRamp, IdentityLink, InfoBase and all other Acxiom marks contained herein are trademarks or service marks of Acxiom Corporation. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.

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