Pitney Bowes Q4 Earnings Fall 44%

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Pitney Bowes Inc., Stamford, CT, reported this week a 44 percent drop in fourth-quarter profit based on lawsuit settlements, expenses related to a plant closing and other restructuring.

Net income totaled $82.7 million, down from $146.9 million for the year-ago quarter.

The company also reported year-to-date earnings of $480.5 million on revenue of $4.96 billion, down from $498.1 million on revenue of $4.58 billion for the prior year.

In the quarter, the company recorded a $13 million after-tax charge resulting from a nationwide settlement of the remaining lawsuits related to an equipment replacement program offered by its leasing subsidiary.

Pitney Bowes also recorded an after-tax restructuring charge of $71 million. This included a $30 million non-cash charge for the write-off of pre-implementation costs related to the company's decision not to proceed with certain systems development. Also included were an $18 million charge for the anticipated closure of a manufacturing facility in Germany and a $23 million charge for other restructuring initiatives.

Revenue in the fourth quarter reached $1.36 billion, up 12 percent from $1.22 billion a year ago.

In 2005, the company expects to record an after-tax gain of about $18 million in connection with the sale of its 22-acre main plant site in Stamford. Pitney Bowes' headquarters will remain in Stamford.

Melissa Campanelli covers postal news, CRM and database marketing for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters

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