Cloud Computing  Mar 17  Comment 
SYS-CON Events announced today that Aria Systems, the leading innovator in recurring revenue, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Proven by...
Benzinga  Feb 3  Comment 
In a report published Tuesday, Brean Capital analyst Ananda Baruah reiterated a Buy rating on Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE: PBI), but lowered the price target from $33.00 to $30.00. In the report, Brean Capital noted, “While we're lowering our TP...
Benzinga  Feb 3  Comment 
On CNBC's Stock Pops & Drops, Karen Finerman commented on a 2.78 percent move higher in United Rentals, Inc. (NYSE: URI). She explained that the stock bounced after a horrible run lower in a week after earnings. She likes the stock and she...
TheStreet.com  Feb 2  Comment 
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Pitney Bowes were falling 9.1% to $21.80 Monday after the business equipment company missed analysts' estimates for revenue in the fourth quarter. Pitney Bowes reported revenue of $983.91 million for the...
Benzinga  Feb 2  Comment 
Pitney Bowes Inc's (NYSE: PBI) shares fell sharply Monday on a disappointing outlook, but an analyst expects the company's earnings will grow 24 percent by 2016. The company, which also authorized a $100 million buyback Monday, changed hands...
Benzinga  Feb 2  Comment 
Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE: PBI) shares touched a new 52-week low of $21.58 after the company reported Q4 earnings of $0.51 per share and announced a $100 million buyback. Guess' Inc. (NYSE: GES) shares fell 4.85% to touch a new 52-week low of...
TheStreet.com  Feb 1  Comment 
NEW YORK (TheStreet) – Shares of Pitney Bowes are not off to s good start in 2015. And investors are getting restless after seeing an 11% decline in their holdings over the past six months. But analysts aren't worried, even though they should...
Forbes  Jan 30  Comment 
Despite an expected dip in profit, analysts are generally optimistic about Pitney Bowes as it prepares to reports its fourth-quarter earnings on Monday, February 2, 2015. The consensus earnings per share estimate is 51 cents per share.For the...


Pitney Bowes Inc. (PBI) is the world's largest seller of postage meters, devices that allow companies to print postage on letters rather than using stamps. The company has over 2 million customers worldwide. Its sale and operation of postage meters is heavily regulated by national governments, since printing postage essentially amounts to printing money, and this creates high barriers to entry that protect Pitney Bowes' virtual monopoly in this business. PBI controls 80% of the domestic postage-meter market and 65% internationally.[1]

While postage meters are in continual demand by any business that sends a lot of mail, direct mailing is being increasingly displaced by internet advertising, and this limits PBI's growth opportunities within its core market. To build revenues in the long term, PBI has turned its attention outside of postage meters into businesses such as document services, including letter production and design software, facilities management, and outsourced marketing.[2] The firm has made $2.5 billion in acquisitions since 2000 in order to diversify beyond the postage meter business. Notable acquisitions in 2007 - when the firm spent $570 million buying other companies - included MapInfo (Troy, NY) and Digital Cement (Toronto, Canada). [3]

However, these businesses are relatively new to PBI, which has historically focused exclusively on postage meters since its founding in 1902.[4] Industries such as document management, information intelligence, and legal services are not regulated by the government, and there are low barriers to entry which create competition in these markets - something Pitney Bowes does not deal with in the postage meter business. In these markets PBI is forced to compete with firms like Xerox and IKON Office Solutions (IKN) that have specialized in these businesses for longer and have established customer relationships. This presents a challenge to PBI as it builds an economic niche outside of its traditional dominance in postage meters.

Business Overview

PBI's biggest source of revenue is its U.S. Mailing division. The company's 85 acquisitions since 2000, along with its international postage meter operation, make up the rest of PBI's business. PBI divides its offerings into two main sections, Mailstream Solutions and Mailstream Services.

Business & Financial Metrics[5]

In 2009, Pitney Bowe

Business Segments[6]

Pitney Bowes has seven reportable operating segments.

  • U.S. Mailing (36.2% of total revenues): This segment sells, rents, and finances the company's mailsorted mail and cross-border mail services.[7]
  • Marketing Services (2.5% of total revenues): This segment provides direct mail marketing services on behalf of clients to targeted customers.[7]



The lack of growth in the postage meter market hurts PBI's core business segment.

PBI's U.S. Mailing division, which best represents PBI's original core postage meter business, accounted for more than 36% of the firm's total revenues in 2009. PBI controls 80% of the domestic postage-meter market and 65% internationally.[8] High barriers to entry faced by potential competitors protect this market share; since postage meters essentially print money, governments tightly regulate this industry and limit the number of providers.

However, growth in this division's revenue is stagnant.[9] This lack of growth is due to the fact that use of computers has increased dramatically since the 1990s, and as a result, businesses are increasingly using internet advertising as a less expensive substitute for brochures and catalogs sent through the mail.

PBI's growth strategy undermines its competitive advantages.

The rise of E-Commerce has significantly decreased the demand for PBI's postage meter services, so PBI has reacted by rapidly expanding into other areas (see the list of divisions in business overview above). Although PBI has invested significant capital in its own research and development, its expansion has thus far been accomplished through $2.5 billion in acquisitions since 2000. These purchases have included a wide variety of companies, including MapInfo (location intelligence), Digital Cement (customer relationship management), Ibis Consulting, Inc. (electronic legal discovery services), and Group 1 Software, Inc. (mailing efficiency software), among others.

PBI does not have the same competitive advantages or market dominance in these areas as it does in its postage meter segment. Other companies, already dedicated to these other markets, are more established in their respective specialties and have existing relationships with customers. The success of PBI's expansion strategy will depend on PBI's ability to acquire companies that are already well-established and can maintain a niche in their markets.

The introduction of shape-based postage pricing increases demand for PBI's services.

The most notable change included was a transition from purely weight-based pricing to a new system that took the shape of the piece of mail into account as well. [10] Under the new regulations, postage will be cheaper for pieces that are more easily processed by USPS equipment. Letter-size envelopes will fare the best, followed by flats (e.g. manila envelopes) and then parcels. Due to these changes, customers - particularly large companies that regularly send large volumes of mail - stand to save lots of money by conforming to the most cost-effective shaping standards.

PBI will gain in two ways as a result of shape-based pricing. First of all, demand will increase for products like the Shape Based Sizing Template, which helps mailers compute the exact, correct postage for their mail according to the new, more complex shape-based pricing rules. Secondly, demand will also increase for machines offered by PBI that fold mail into the specific shapes that cost the least to send under the new system; for example, customers will be interested in machines that will let them change mailings that are currently formatted as flats into letter-shaped envelopes (which are now less expensive). [11]


As mentioned above, the postage meter business is tightly regulated by the government because the meters essentially print money. Only four companies other than PBI are licensed to produce and sell postage meters in the United States:[12]

Pitney Bowes also competes with other companies in its other business segments. These companies include:


  1. Putting a New Stamp On Pitney Bowes, Smartmoney.com, 01/03/06
  2. Pitney Bowes Fast Facts, 2008
  3. Pitney Bowes Fast Facts, 2008
  4. Wikipedia:Pitney Bowes
  5. PBI 2009 -10-K pg. 10  
  6. PBI 2009 -10-K pg. 78  
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2
  8. Putting a New Stamp On Pitney Bowes, Smartmoney.com, 01/03/06
  9. PBI 2007 10-K, page 11
  10. USPS news release #07-041, 5-07-07
  11. Print Professional Magazine, New View, March 01 2008
  12. USPS - Postage Meters
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