Data services company Acxiom Corp. returned to profitability in its fiscal fourth quarter, helped by the sale of its background screening division.

Acxiom reported on Tuesday that it earned $46.1 million, or 58 cents per share, for the period ended March 31. That compares with a loss of $67.1 million, or 83 cents per share, a year earlier.

The current quarter's results included a $48 million gain on the sale of its background screening unit.

Taking out restructuring charges and other items, earnings were 22 cents per share. Analysts expected 18 cents per share, according to a FactSet poll.

Revenue was basically flat at $287.3 million, topping Wall Street's forecast of $280.2 million.

Acxiom's stock gained 66 cents, or 5.1 percent, to $13.71 in afternoon trading. The shares have traded in a 52-week range of $8.94 to $14.92.

For the year, Acxiom earned $77.3 million, or 96 cents per share. In the previous year it lost $23.1 million, or 29 cents per share.

Adjusted earnings were 76 cents per share.

Annual revenue increased 2 percent to $1.13 billion from $1.11 billion.

The Little Rock, Ark. company foresees fiscal 2013 earnings of 55 cents to 65 cents per share with revenue likely to be flat at $1.13 billion or slightly down from the year before.

Analysts had predicted earnings of 65 cents per share on revenue of $1.13 billion.