Equifax breach will continue to take financial toll on company, executives warn

Equifax

Credit reporting company Equifax Inc. corporate offices are pictured in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., September 8, 2017. 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.

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

The breach, which compromised sensitive data of 145.5 million people, has harmed the company's reputation and prompted investigations in every USA state, a federal criminal probe and hundreds of lawsuits.

Equifax estimated a range of additional costs between $56 million and $110 million to continue providing the free services.

Equifax spent almost $15 million on customer support after disclosing the breach in early September through month end, with the company estimating its total cost to provide free credit monitoring and identity theft protection will cost it as much as $110 million more.

Johnson estimated the costs from the breach will total in the hundreds of millions of dollars, but that lost revenue could be even larger. It revealed Thursday that it received subpoenas from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission related to trading in company shares by executives around the time of the breach.


The company gathers data on consumers to help lenders determine borrowers' creditworthiness. The company expects revenue of $825 million to $835 million, compared to the average analyst forecast of $833.65 million.

All told, the company said Thursday that its net income fell to $96.3 million, or 79 cents per share, for the three months ended September 30.

Adjusted for one-time costs, such as hacking- and merger-related expenses, Equifax said it earned $1.53 per share, topping analysts' average estimates by 4 cents.

Since the disclosure, the share of Equifax credit files locked or frozen by consumers has gone from 0.5 percent to between 1.5 percent and two percent, according to Gamble.

The company may also give an update on its efforts to find a new chief executive officer, as well as new chief security and chief information officers, to replace executives that left after the breach was made public.

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