Equifax warns on post-breach costs, revenue hit

After security breach costs, Equifax clears Q3 with $96M profit

After security breach costs, Equifax clears Q3 with $96M profit

A day after posting sizeable profit declines due to a massive data breach, Equifax says it expects to incur related costs of between $60 million to $75 billion in the current quarter.

"We're hoping to win back their trust and then be able to regain the business that we've indicated has been deferred", Chief Financial Officer John Gamble said in the call.

The FREE Act would also prevent credit reporting agencies from profiting off of consumers' information during a freeze, enhance fraud alert protections, and provide the opportunity for consumers to receive an additional free credit report following the Equifax data breach. "We're still working through that process".

Equifax reported $834.8 million in revenue in its third quarter, which is up 4 percent from the same time a year ago; analysts had expected this, as the bulk of the company's money comes from selling services to other business, not consumers.

Excluding the impact of expenses related to the data hack and other one-time gains and costs, Equifax's earnings amounted to $1.53 per share.

Equifax executives are scheduled to take questions from analysts during a conference call on Friday at 8:30 a.m.in NY. "Even if that number fails to capture those Equifax has directly notified because state law mandated it, or because their credit card information was part of the information compromised by the breach, it remains quite possible that millions of individuals do not know for certain if their information was exposed".

"When is your cyber security going to be up to code, or up to standard, or however you want to define that?" asked Wells Fargo Securities analyst William Warmington. The company said its adjusted earnings per share were $1.53.

Atlanta-based Equifax reported a 3 percent drop in its USA revenue in the third quarter to $308 million, but was able to make up the difference and then some from its worldwide services, resulting in an overall 4 percent increase in revenue to $835 million.

The latest management commentary "generally supports the view that the long-term business model looks at least okay", said Huff, who has an "equal weight" rating on Equifax shares.

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