Pitney Bowes cuts quarterly dividend and lowers full-year guidance
Pitney Bowes Inc. said Tuesday it had net income of $44.9 million, or 24 cents a share, in the fourth quarter, down from $89.9 million, or 48 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings came to 38 cents, matching the FactSet consensus. The maker of postal meters and office equipment said revenue rose to $947.1 million from $916.4 million, ahead of the FactSet consensus of $932 million. The company said it now expects full-year adjusted EPS of $1.04 to $1.20, below the FactSet consensus of $1.24. It said guidance has been adjusted to reflect the sale of SMB direct operations in six smaller European countries, which will shave about $40 million off revenue. It also reflects the current 10% tariffs on Chinese goods. If tariffs are raised to 25%, the company would expect it to shave about 4 cents to 6 cents off EPS. Chief Executive Marc Lautenbach said six years ago, the company was in markets where revenue was declining, but it has now moved to growth markets. "Consequently, there are opportunities available for Pitney Bowes to create value for our shareholders and continue to grow," he said in a statement. "Therefore, it is appropriate for the Company's capital allocation to evolve. Our new capital allocation policy provides sufficient flexibility for Pitney Bowes to take advantage of these opportunities and at the same time still return capital to our shareholders." The board has approved a $100 million share buyback program that brings the existing one to $121 million. But it is cutting its quarterly dividend to 5 cents a share from 18.75 cents. Shares rose 1.5% in premarket trade, but are down 46% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 2.9%. Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.