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ChoicePoint Net Slips

Earnings fall 17%.


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, a provider of credential verification services, said its earnings for the first quarter fell 17.2% due to legal expenses related to the fraudulent data access.

The company said its earnings were $30.6 million, or 34 cents a share, for the quarter, compared with $36.9 million, or 40 cents a share, a year ago. Adjusted for non-recurring charges totaling to $9.8 million, or 11 cents a share, the earnings for the first quarter were $40.4 million, or 46 cents a share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of $40.9 million, or 45 cents a share.

First-quarter revenues rose 4.1% from a year ago to $269.9 million, just falling short of analysts' expectation of $270.1 million.

The gross profit fell by 1.2% to $126.4 million. The gross profit margin fell by 249 basis points to 46.8%.

The operating profit fell by 13.1% to $53.1 million. The operating profit margin fell by 389 basis points to 19.7%.

Total insurance revenue increased 14% to $113.4 million in the first quarter. However, this growth was offset by a 3% fall in government services revenue and a 4% fall in marketing services revenue.

The Alpharetta, Ga.-based company expects year-over-year operating margin expansion of 50 to 100 basis points, excluding the impact of stock option expense, on-going legal expenses related to the fraudulent data access, and operating charges related to the company's centralization of functions and consolidation of certain technology platforms.

ChoicePoint fell 31 cents Thursday to $44.45.

This story was created through a joint venture between and IRIS.