A third, and likely final, wave of layoffs at Little Rock-based Acxiom Corp. began on Wednesday (Feb. 26) as the database marketer continued its push to realign its workforce to meet changing industry demands. Acxiom indicated in November 2013 it would cut its overall labor force by March in an effort to save $20-$30 million annually. Approximately 200 workers nationwide were part of the latest round of layoffs with around 100 in Arkansas.

Dillard’s profits fall in fourth quarter, full year

Sales slipped and profits fell as Dillard’s reported its fourth quarter and full year earnings. The Little Rock-based retailer reported fourth quarter net income of $119.1 million on sales of $2.08 billion. One year ago, Dillard’s posted profits of $161.4 million on sales of $2.15 billion.

For the full year Dillard’s recorded $323.7 million on lower sales of $6.69 billion. In its last fiscal year, Dillard’s posted $336 million on revenue of $6.75 billion.

Windstream boosts bottom line in 2013

Little Rock-based Windstream Corp. posted 2013 fourth quarter earnings of $118.4 million, a huge improvement from $10.1 million a year ago. Revenues for the quarter ended Dec. 31, 2013 were $1.49 billion, down 3 percent from $1.53 billion in 2012′s fourth quarter.

For the full year, Windstream reported net income of $241 million on revenue of $5.99 billion compared to a $168 million profit on revenue and sales of $6.14 billion one year ago.

Deltic Timber earnings more than double

Deltic Timber Corp. posted slightly lower fourth quarter earnings, but the El Dorado-based timber and real estate company scored big with full-year net income more than doubling its previous year’s profits. Deltic Timber fourth quarter net income was $2.3 million compared to net income of $2.4 million one year ago. For the full year, Deltic’s profits topped $26.2 million, up from $9.2 million in 2012. Revenues climbed higher in 2013 to $164.92 million, a 33% increase from $123.77 million in 2012.

Roadrunner acquires Rich Logistics

Roadrunner Transportation Systems, Inc. acquired Little Rock-based Rich Logistics. In addition, Roadrunner acquired Everett Transportation Inc., a contractor working exclusively for Rich Logistics. The total value of the transaction was approximately $48 million. Rich Logistics transports products throughout the U.S. and Mexico utilizing a combination of independent contractors and employee drivers.

Gov. Beebe, AEDC seed Innovation Hub with $575,000

Gov. Mike Beebe, Rep. Warwick Sabin, D-Little Rock, and AEDC director Grant Tennille revealed a $575,000 infrastructure grant to the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub, which held a "wall breaking" ceremony at a downtown North Little Rock building that will house the group’s efforts. The money will be specifically used to remodel the building to allow for an entrepreneurial program center that will feature a network of resources, programs and educational opportunities to attract, develop and retain emerging Arkansas talent.

U.S. Chamber official warns against fracking over-regulation

A U.S. Chamber of Commerce official warned an Arkansas audience that over-regulation of fracking practices in the oil and gas industry could cost jobs, tax revenue, and the overall economy. Karen Harbert, the President and CEO of the U.S. Chamber Institute for 21st Century Energy, was a featured speaker at an Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce/AIA luncheon held at Heifer International’s world headquarters. Harbert touted a litany of energy statistics that highlighted that in the next 35 years the world’s electricity demand will increase by 140%. She said the ability to harvest resources for energy needed to be as diversified as possible.


Roby Brock, a freelance journalist based in Little Rock, writes weekly for the Arkansas News Bureau. His weekly television program airs at 10 p.m. Sundays in Central and Northwest Arkansas. His e-mail address is roby@talkbusiness.net; his website address is www.talkbusiness.net