D&B

THE SCOOP

D&B is B-to-B

Ranked No. 1 in the financial services segment on Fortune's list of America's Most Admired Companies in 2008, the Dun & Bradstreet Corporation mainly provides business-to-business insight on public and private companies.  The company, known as D&B, aspires to "be the most trusted source of commercial insight so [its] customers can decide with confidence."  It's currently focusing on three major areas to improve its customer service: information quality (such as increasing the number of company records in its database; it now has 130 million), customer experience (it's trying to answer all customer calls within 10 seconds) and product innovation (like its web-based interactive risk product DNBi).  Information is culled from a variety of sources, including management interviews, accounts-receivable information, state filings and news services.  D&B sells this business-credit information, and offers marketing information and purchasing-support services.

D&B aims to provide their customers the tools in order to increase profitability, boost revenue, research and protecting the customer’s investments from potential business risks.  One of the greatest legacies of D&B in the world of business and encoding would be DUNS (Data Universal Numbering System) system which was developed and is regulated by D&B.  The system assigns a unique numeric identifier to a single business entity that provides quality information needed such as addresses, sales and market research.

A century ago

The history of Dun & Bradstreet begins in 1841, when Lewis Tappan, a noted abolitionist, formed his Mercantile Agency in New York.  This agency served as a way for wholesalers and importers to rate customer credit.  In 1859, this business was taken over by Robert Dun, whose Dun's Book listed information on over 1 million businesses by 1886.  The company's biggest rival at the time was the John M. Bradstreet Company.  In 1933, the two companies merged, and took on the name Dun & Bradstreet in 1939.  Some of Dun & Bradstreet's notable acquisitions have included Reuben H. Donnelley Corp., publisher of the Yellow Pages, in 1961.  In 1962, Moody's Investor Service became part of D&B.  Moody's eventually developed the largest private database in the world, and this information was used to create Dun's Financial Profiles in 1979.  In the 1970s and 1980s, D&B bought additional information and publishing companies, including AC Nielsen, Hoover's Inc. and McCormack & Dodge.  By the 1990s, however, poor performance suggested D&B had overreached.  The company began to shed its subsidiaries, including AC Nielsen, Cognizant (which included Nielsen Media Research and IMS Health and Nielsen Media Research), R.H. Donnelley and Moody's.

Expanding presence in cyberspace & IT

Since the acquisition of Hoover’s in 2003 which strengthened the presence of D&B on the web, D&B acquired another web-based company AllBusiness.com, an online publisher and business resource, for $55 million in December 2007.  AllBusiness.com reportedly has more than 2 million users who access the site's 2 million articles, blogs, videos and other resources that offer business owners and executives guidance.  This particular well-known site is for all business types, yet specializes more on the small-business market.  The site is a wholly owned subsidiary of D&B, and Kathy Yates, CEO, will continue at its helm.  Just two months before the acquisition of AllBusiness.com, D&B purchased Purisma, a commercial data integration software solutions provider, for $48 million.  The company expects that Purisma's software and services will help to facilitate the transfer of information and data between D&B and its customers.

Confidence through numbers

For the fiscal year 2008, the firm brought in $1.72 billion in revenue, up from nearly $1.6 billion in 2007.  Net income for the year came in at $298.1 million, an increase from the $240.7 million the firm earned in 2006.  In 2008, they have increased their shares at D&B India to 53 percent direct majority ownership that costs at $49.3 million.  Despite the bearish atmosphere of 2008, D&B still managed to have its revenues increased and continued acquisitions.


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D&B


103 JFK Parkway
Short Hills, NJ 07078
Phone: (973) 921-5500
www.dnb.com

STATS


  • Employer Type: Public
  • Stock Symbol: DNB
  • Stock Exchange: NYSE
  • Chairman and CEO: Steven W. Alesio
  • 2008 Employees: 4,900

Major Office Locations

  • Murray Hill, NJ

Key Financials

  • 2008 Revenue: $1,726 million

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