Equifax profit dips, revenues rise in mixed quarter

Equifax, the Atlanta-based credit reporting agency, ended 2009 on a mixed note as profits dipped while revenue rose, the company said Wednesday.

Equifax had net profit of $60.2 million in the fourth quarter, or 47 cents a share, down 6 percent from a year earlier. Revenue in the fourth quarter was $464.3 million, up 4 percent from a year earlier due largely to a boost from favorable foreign exchange rates.

For the year, Equifax posted net profit of $233.9 million, compared to $272.8 million in 2008.

Excluding costs of several acquisitions made during the fourth quarter and other one-time charges, the company said its adjusted earnings were 61 cents a share. Wall Street analysts had expected earnings of 56 cents a share.

During the quarter, Equifax closed on the purchases of IXI Corp. and Rapid Reporting Verification and had double-digit growth in several units, including the company’s TALX division, which provides income verification services for lenders and governments.

The company said it expects adjusted earnings to drop slightly in the first quarter of 2010, to between 53 cents and 57 cents per share, due to the loss of some tax credits that were available in the fourth quarter.