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Acxiom to Club Offline, Online Data

Zacks Equity Research

Per a media report, marketing technology and services provider, Acxiom Corporation (ACXM), recently launched a system that combines the offline and online activities of an individual to form a wide profile.

To date, marketing data providers rely on cookies – the online tracking tools – to access individual data. However, the system is not flawless as this leads to different profiles for an individual based on the various data collection points, such as personal computers, work computers, mobiles and tablets.

The new system, on the other hand, will extract data from the various sources like online and in-store shopping habits and various website activities and combine them into a single usable profile that will be presented to the marketers. This system will have a unique profile for every individual despite using various devices.

The company recently launched a new consumer portal “AboutTheData.com,” to maintain transparency. This portal enables individual to view and update their information that the company provides to the marketers.

Acxiom has tie-ins with leading companies like Facebook, Inc. (FB), Yahoo! Inc. (YHOO) and Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), which allows the company clients to flash their personalized marketing messages on the websites.

Though these initiatives are beneficial for the marketers, consumer advocates are worried about the privacy of individuals. These businesses are currently under the scrutiny of both the Federal Trade Commission and a Senate committee.

We expect the company to derive great benefits from the new system which will bring a new wave to the data providing business.

The new system comes amid declining business scenario for the company. Acxiom reported flat year-over-year earnings for the first quarter of fiscal 2014 standing at 17 cents per share. Revenues in the quarter dropped 2% year over year to $266 million.

In the quarter, Marketing and Data Services revenues declined 2% year over year to $188 million, with 1% year-over-year decline registered in the IT Infrastructure Management revenues standing at $69 million.

Acxiom currently carries a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell).

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