Conversant profits on track, extends buybacks
Westlake Village-based digital marketing firm Conversant stayed on track with earnings but slightly missed Wall Street’s revenue targets as it committed to returning $150 million more in cash to shareholders through stock buybacks.
The company formerly known as ValueClick said its non-standard earnings per share were 35 cents for the second quarter of 2014, a more than doubling from the same period a year prior and in line with a survey of 14 analysts by Thomson Financial Network. Revenue was up 7 percent to $137.4 million compared with a year earlier, falling slightly short of analyst estimates of $138.1 million.
Like some other technology companies, Conversant uses several non-standard accounting measures to exclude the impacts of stock-based compensation and discontinued operations.
Despite its ups and downs over the years, Conversant has remained a strong cash machine. Last month, it crossed the $1 billion mark in stock buybacks and exhausted its current buyback program with a purchase of 778,000 shares. Along with earnings, Conversant announced it would plow $150 million more into buybacks.
“Today’s announcement of a $150 million increase in our stock repurchase program underscores our confidence in our strategy and Conversant’s future as a leader in personalized digital marketing,” CEO John Giuliani said in release.
Conversant also issued revenue guidance of $142 million to $148 million for the third quarter, in line with analyst expectations. Shares were down nearly 3 percent to $24.39 in after-hours trading after the news was announced Aug. 6.