QUOTE AND NEWS
guardian.co.uk  Nov 29  Comment 
World’s largest shipbroker follows large corporations including Deloitte, Yahoo and Equifax in falling victim to cyber-attack Shipping company Clarksons is bracing for a tranche of private data to be released, after refusing to pay a ransom to...
CNNMoney.com  Nov 28  Comment 
In September, Equifax announced a major security breach that exposed the personal information for about half of U.S. adults.
Motley Fool  Nov 18  Comment 
Here's why you can't sue if you get hit with unfair bank fees -- or have a fake account created in your name.
Forbes  Nov 15  Comment 
This security giant directed users to a phishing site and used "admin/admin" as password keys. With the right to sue credit bureaus and banks killed by the Senate, who will call it to task?
Financial Times  Nov 15  Comment 
Credit monitoring service says data hack has led to greater regulatory pressures
Forbes  Nov 14  Comment 
What if there were a credit system that could thwart hacks like the Equifax breach? Spoiler alert: it’s here.
Benzinga  Nov 13  Comment 
Susquehanna raised J M Smucker Co (NYSE: SJM) price target from $110 to $127. Smucker shares closed at $104.12 on Friday. Stifel cut the price target for Equifax Inc. (NYSE: EFX) from $149 to $115. Equifax shares closed at $108.74 on...




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Equifax Inc. (NYSE: EFX) is the leading credit report provider in the U.S. and is considered one of the "Big 3" in the credit reporting market. It generated $1.54 billion in revenue (2006) and operates in 14 countries across three continents. Equifax also provides credit scoring, marketing consulting and other credit related services. Equifax also recently acquired TALX, the leading employment verification company in the U.S.

Since the US credit reporting market is now considered mature, Equifax has had to expand its database services to include other services such as marketing and credit scoring, in addition to developing its international divisions. Efforts toward the latter have been quite successful to date with Equifax non-domestic operations growing at double digit rates over the last few years. Among the adverse factors affecting Equifax are the potential for more stringent government privacy policies and the stagnancy of the US housing market in the wake of higher interest rates and subprime lending troubles.

Company Breakdown

Equifax operates in three segments broken down by region and are further brown down by three divisions of service.

Services

  • Information Services includes credit reports, credit scores and other related information. Banks, retailers and other lenders buy credit reports to help determine an applicant's(individual or business) eligibility for a loan, offer credit and other business-to-business and business-to-consumer decisions. Credit scores are mathematically based on Equifax credit reports and represent the likelihood that a person will pay his or her debt. Credit scores are important because lenders use credit scores to determine the risk of lending to a particular person or entity, what loans he qualifies for, and at which interest rates.
  • Marketing Services uses Equifax's enormous database to prescreen, segment and target consumers. Equifax uses mail and e-mail to directly reach its client's target consumer base and also offers consulting advice and marketing strategy. Equifax's database system has the capability to customize information for its customers and generate mailing lists based on different criteria, such demographic information.
  • Personal Solutions is connected directly with consumers who want to buy their credit report in order to monitor their credit status and watch for identity theft. This segment was a large contributor to the over 8 million reports sold in 2004. Equifax's Personal Solutions has set itself apart providing consumers with access to the home sales in their neighborhood as comparable sales to measure the growth of their neighborhood value.

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Customers

Equifax's main clientele consists of banks and credit card companies, but its customers have become more diverse largely due to the rise of identity theft, fraud and more thorough background checks. For example, small businesses, insurance providers, a number of government groups and retailers use Equifax's services to conduct background checks on potential employees, check payment histories and validate the credit of a business. Equifax also caters to individual clients who wish to have access to their credit reports or scores. In recent years, individual clients have been generating more business for EFX.

Attempt to Expand in a Mature Market

Equifax is one of the largest players in a mature credit market. As a result, the growth prospects of its credit reporting business is somewhat limited. Faced with increasing pricing pressure the company is focusing on offering more complimentary services.

  • TALX Acquisition: TALX, the leading employment verification company (with 9,000 customers, including 75% of the Fortune 500), complements Equifax's existing services with its Work Number database. The database contains information on 140 million employment records which can be used by lenders to verify income. The Work Number database sets Equifax apart by allowing it to offer TALX's services even in cases where the credit applicant has little or no credit history. TALX reported revenues of $237 million in 2006, up 33% from 2005.
  • International Markets: In an effort to further expand, Equifax has begun to establish itself in international markets such as the UK and Brazil. Along with its information services, it started providing other services such as fraud detection and business credit throughout Europe and Latin/South America. Equifax's international branches have experienced a 30% growth over the past year, but will not have a substantial impact the company's earnings in the near future.
International Exposure
Market Total % of EFX Rev Total Revenue (2006) % Growth ('05-'06)
Europe 10% 153.6 M 8.2%
Latin/South America 10% 154 M 21.5%

Did Equifax actually say your cderit report was frozen? Of did you assume that's what the message meant? If Equifax requested that you mail your request and include copies of your social security card, driver's license, and other personal info, there could be a security problem. They want to make sure they only give the report to the actual person.The cderit bureaus are three completely different companies. It is not unusual to have a problem with one and not the others. Usually the complaint with Equifax is problems freezing the cderit.

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