AP NEWS

Pitney Bowes marks another gain

November 1, 2018

Continuing its recent rebound, technology firm Pitney Bowes notched its fifth straight quarter of year-over-year revenue growth, according to its latest earnings report released Thursday.

Third-quarter returns for the Stamford-based company reached $833 million, up 14 percent from last year. Profits totaled about $77 million, jumping 34 percent.

“We continue to make progress against our strategic initiatives and move forward in our transformation,” Pitney CEO and President Marc Lautenbach said on an earnings call Thursday.

Among other key indicators, commerce services’ revenues grew 59 percent to $358 million. The $475 million acquisition in October 2017 of parcel-logistics firm Newgistics drove the increase.

In a related move, the company opened last month a 450,000-square-foot fulfillment center in Greenwood, Ind., an Indianapolis suburb.

“Newgisitics, once again, had very strong top-line growth, which indicates the market attractiveness of the capabilities in this business,” Lautenbach said.

Small and medium-sized business solutions’ revenues ticked down 4 percent to $399 million. The division saw declines in recurring revenue streams, but growing equipment sales, driven by its SendPro C-Series mailing-and-shipping product, partially offset the decrease.

Software solutions’ revenues dropped 19 percent to $76 million, as the business took in lower licensing revenues.

Pitney officials also said Thursday the company had reduced its debt by more than $560 million this year, a total that includes a pay-down of $300 million in bondholder notes. In addition, the firm reported it had reduced gross spending by more than $100 million this year.

“Today, our debt is actually lower than where we were two years ago, and yet our portfolio has changed significantly, as a portfolio that has shifted to growth,” Lautenbach said.

Among other recent milestones, Pitney completed in July the sale of its Danbury-based Document Messaging Technologies production-mail business and supporting software for $361 million to investment firm Platinum Equity. The company has said it would use most of the sale proceeds to pay down debt.

In recent months, Pitney officials have considered a range of options to spur growth after disappointing earnings in recent years. The firm announced in March it would not pursue a sale of the entire company.

In addition to its Stamford headquarters, at 3001 Summer St., Pitney maintains local offices in Shelton.

pschott@scni.com; 203-964-2236; Twitter: @paulschott