Equifax apologizes again after massive data breach

Nov 11, 2017, 00:53
Equifax apologizes again after massive data breach

That includes the costs to investigate the hack, legal fees and expenses for offering consumers free credit file monitoring and identity theft protection to its US consumers.

Equifax Inc.'s massive data breach is proving costly. The company said it did not know how much it would cost them to address any judgments, settlements or penalties as a result of the breach.

Revenue from mortgage solutions represented about 12.6% of the company's $307.7 million in total revenue during the quarter.

Free credit file monitoring and identity theft protection subsequently offered to all United States punters from September, cost $4.7m (recorded in the consumer support expenses mentioned above) but will range between $56m and $110m in total - customers have until the 31 January to sign up to this. The global consumer business, which sells credit-monitoring and identity-protection tools, posted little change in revenue.

The Atlanta-based company is expected to report a third-quarter profit, not including one-time costs such as those associated with the breach, of $1.49 per share, versus $1.42 a year earlier, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Among the regulatory inquiries that hadn't previously been reported were investigations from offices of 50 state attorneys general, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and the New York State Department of Financial Services. Any negative audit results could result in a loss of customers, Equifax warned in the filing. "And to date, we do not have any evidence that we can probably add problem activity to data stolen from Equifax".

Shares of Equifax, which reported after the closing bell, were down a penny in aftermarket trading at $108.94. It has slumped 24 percent since the hack was disclosed.

Analysts on Friday's call probed Equifax for further details on its recovery effort. The company said its adjusted earnings per share were $1.53.

Equifax's net income of $96.3 million was down 27% from $132.8 million a year ago and more than 71% from $165.4 million in the second quarter.

Revenue rose 3.8 percent to $843.8 million, which fell short of the $847.3 million analysts were expecting.

"It is deeply concerning that only slightly more than 20 percent of affected individuals have successfully used this tool, which you said you have been promoting heavily through social and other media".

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