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story.lead_photo.caption Graphs showing Acxiom Corp. second quarter information.

Acxiom Corp. lost $3.3 million in its fiscal second quarter that ended Sept. 30, down from net income of $7.1 million in the same period last year, the Little Rock data marketing firm said Wednesday.

Acxiom lost 4 cents a share for the quarter, down from earnings per share of 9 cents in the second quarter last year. That was well below the average expectations of 17 cents per-share earnings projected by five analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters.

Acxiom shares closed Wednesday at $24.65, down 51 cents, in trading on the Nasdaq exchange. Wednesday's quarterly report was released after the market closed.

Acxiom runs a business that is hard for the ordinary investor to understand, said Bob Williams, senior vice president and managing director of Simmons First Investment Group Inc. in Little Rock.

"Ultimately what it is is very complicated marketing," Williams said. "This next level of technology that they're using allows a [customer] to basically know most of the details about your life that are out there digitally. [Acxiom's employees] are smart marketing people who have figured out how to take advantage of that."

Acxiom had revenue of $225.2 million, an improvement of almost 4 percent for the quarter.

"I'm pleased to report a solid second quarter," Scott Howe, Acxiom's chief executive officer, said during Wednesday's conference call.

Operating income was up 27 percent for the quarter, Howe said.

The company's LiveRamp product posted record margins and added 25 new direct clients, Howe said.

Acxiom expects the Connectivity business segment to have about 45 percent growth for the year instead of the previously expected growth of 50 percent, said Warren Jenson, Acxiom's chief financial officer.

"We had an awesome quarter for Connectivity and LiveRamp," Jenson said.

Acxiom repurchased 860,000 shares for about $20 million during the quarter.

Acxiom projects that this fiscal year will have revenue of $920 million to $930 million, an increase of more than 7 percent. The company is expecting a loss per share between 4 cents and 8 cents for the year.

Business on 11/02/2017

Print Headline: Acxiom logs loss of $3.3M for 2Q

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