Pitney Bowes (PB) takes a measured approach to managing mail. The world's largest producer of postage meters, the company also makes other mailing equipment and provides shipping and weighing systems. It offers online postage services, and financing for office equipment purchases. PB also develops software to create mailers and manage shipping, transportation, and logistics for government agencies and corporations. The company exited the document management services business in 2013 with the sale of Pitney Bowes Management Services. The company gets the majority of its revenue from small and medium-sized businesses (SMB). The postal meter maker's sales are declining along with falling mail volumes.
The company's primary manufacturing and assembly facility is located in Danbury, Connecticut and its principal research and development facilities are located in Danbury, and Noida, India. In 2013 the US accounted for more than two-thirds of the company's revenues.
Pitney Bowes operates in three business segments: Small & Medium Business Solutions; Enterprise Business Solutions; and Digital Commerce Solutions. Small & Medium Business Solutions (mail finishing, mail creation, shipping equipment and software) includes North America Mailing and International Mailing.
Enterprise Business Solutions includes Production Mail (the sale, support, and other professional services of the company's high-speed, production mail systems, sorting and production print equipment); and Presort Services. The company's smallest business segment, Digital Commerce Solutions, accounts for 15% of total revenue earned from the sale and support services of non-equipment-based mailing, customer engagement, geocoding and location intelligence software.
Sales and Marketing
Pitney Bowes sells products and services to a variety of business, governmental, institutional, and other organizations though its sales force, direct mailings, outbound telemarketing, independent distributors, and over the Internet.
The company's revenue is falling along with declining physical mail volumes as its customers switch to alternative modes of communication -- mainly digital -- and to competitors' products. Indeed, revenue declined 21% in 2013 compared with 2012, to $3.87 billion, on the heels of a 7% decline in the previous annual comparison. Growth in equipment sales, supplies sales, and business services in 2013 were offset by declines in rentals and financing revenue, software licensing revenue, and support services. The sale of its Management Services business, among others, also depressed results.
Net income fell 68% year over year, to $142.8 million in 2013. The decrease was primarily due to higher restructuring charges and losses related to the early redemption of debt, as well as declines in some of PB's high margin recurring revenue streams. Cash flow from operations totaled $625 million versus $660.2 in 2012. The firm received $390 million from the sale of several businesses.
Amid declining mail volumes at home and abroad, Pitney Bowes is working to stabilize its legacy mailing business and grow its digital commerce solutions unit. Pitney Bowes expects that its product mix will shift, and that a greater percentage of revenue will come from sales to the enterprise market. To that end, it's emphasizing more management products and services that help large companies handle both physical and digital communications. It's also cutting costs, selling noncore businesses to generate cash, and paying down debt. Other initiatives include updating its sales practices, particularly for small and midsize customers.
The company's ailing postage meter business got a boost recently when postal agencies in North America announced discounts for postage meter users, a perk that's anticipated to enhance the value proposition of meter usage.
The company's growth strategy has included acquisitions and strategic partnerships.
Mergers and Acquisitions
In 2012 it teamed up with 3D design and engineering software provider Autodesk to further drive opportunities in software for enterprise customers. The two companies will work on integrating applications and developing new ones to address areas such as modeling, construction, and asset maintenance management for infrastructure clients and architecture, engineering, and construction businesses.
In 2012 Pitney Bowes formed a new global e-commerce business group that will focus on growing its international e-commerce solutions and cross-border parcel services to help retailers create a seamless online purchasing and shipping experience for consumers.
In 2013 the firm sold Pitney Bowes Management Services to Apollo Global Management for about $400 million. The move allows Pitney Bowes to concentrate its resources on its core software and technology services.