This excerpt taken from the PBI 10-K filed Feb 29, 2008.
Employees and Employee Relations
At December 31, 2007, we employed 26,267 persons in the U.S. and 9,898 persons outside the U.S. Headcount increased in 2007 compared to 2006 primarily due to our acquisitions in 2007. We believe that our current relations with employees are very good. The large majority of our employees are not represented by any labor union. Our management follows the policy of keeping employees informed of decisions, and encourages and implements employee suggestions whenever practicable.
In addition to other information and risk disclosures contained in this Form 10-K, the risk factors discussed in this section should be considered in evaluating our business. We work to manage and mitigate these risks proactively, including through our use of an enterprise risk management program. In our management of these risks, we also evaluate the potential for additional opportunities that may be exploitable in mitigating these risks. Nevertheless, the following risks, some of which may be beyond our control, could materially impact our brand and reputation or results of operations or could cause future results to differ materially from our current expectations:
Postal regulations and processes
The majority of our revenue is directly or indirectly subject to regulation and oversight by the USPS and foreign postal authorities. We also depend on a healthy postal sector in the geographic markets where we do business, which could be influenced positively or negatively by legislative or regulatory changes in the United States, another country or in the European Union. Our profitability and revenue in a particular country could be affected as a result of adverse changes in postal regulations, the business processes and practices of individual posts, the decision of a post to enter into particular markets in direct competition with us, and the impact of any of these changes on postal competitors that do not use our products or services. These changes could affect product specifications, service offerings, customer behavior and the overall mailing industry.
Accelerated decline in use of physical mail
Changes in our customers communication behavior, including changes in communications technologies, could adversely impact our revenue and profitability. Accelerated decline in physical mail could also result from government actions such as executive orders, legislation or regulations that either mandate electronic substitution, prohibit certain types of mailings, increase the difficulty of using information or materials in the mail, or impose higher taxes or fees on mailing or postal services. While we have introduced various product and service offerings as alternatives to physical mail, we face competition from existing and emerging products and services that offer alternative means of communication, such as email and electronic document transmission technologies. An accelerated increase in the acceptance of electronic delivery technologies or other displacement of physical mail could adversely affect our business.
Reduced confidence in the mail system
Unexpected events such as the transmission of biological or chemical agents, or acts of terrorism could have a negative effect on customer confidence in a postal system and as a result adversely impact mail volume. An unexpected and significant interruption in the use of the mail could have an adverse effect on our business.
Dependence on third-party suppliers
We depend on third-party suppliers for a variety of services, components, supplies and a portion of our product manufacturing. In certain instances, we rely on single sourced or limited sourced suppliers around the world because there are no alternative sources or the relationship is advantageous due to quality or price. If production or service was interrupted and we were not able to find alternate suppliers, we could experience disruptions in manufacturing and operations including product shortages, an increase in freight costs, and re-engineering costs. This could result in our inability to meet customer demand, damage our reputation and customer relationships and adversely affect our business.
Access to additional liquidity
We provide financing services to our customers for equipment, postage, and supplies. Our ability to provide these services is largely dependent upon our continued access to the U.S. capital markets. An additional source of liquidity for the company consists of deposits held in our wholly-owned industrial loan corporation, Pitney Bowes Bank (Bank). A significant credit rating downgrade, material capital market disruptions, significant withdrawals by depositors at the Bank, or adverse changes
to our industrial loan charter could impede our ability to maintain adequate liquidity, and impact our ability to provide competitive offerings to our customers.
Privacy laws and other related regulations
Several of our services and financing businesses use, process and store customer information that could include confidential, personal or financial information. We also provide third party benefits administrators with access to our employees personal information. Privacy laws and similar regulations in many jurisdictions where we do business, as well as contractual provisions, require that we and our benefits administrators take significant steps to safeguard this information. Failure to comply with any of these laws, regulations or contract provisions could adversely affect our reputation and business and subject us to significant liability.
Dependence on information systems
Our portfolio of product, service and financing solutions increases our dependence on information technologies. We maintain a secure system to collect revenue for certain postal services, which is critical to enable both our systems and the postal systems to run reliably. The continuous and uninterrupted performance of our systems is critical to our ability to support and service our customers and to support postal services. While we do maintain back-up systems, these systems could be damaged by acts of nature, power loss, telecommunications failures, computer viruses, vandalism and other unexpected events. If our systems were disrupted, we could be prevented from fulfilling orders and servicing customers and postal services, which could have an adverse effect on our reputation and business.
Intellectual property infringement
We rely on copyright, trade secret, patent and other intellectual property laws in the United States and similar laws in other countries to establish and protect proprietary rights that are important for our business. If we fail to enforce our intellectual property rights, our business may suffer. We, or our suppliers, may be subject to third-party claims of infringement on intellectual property rights. These claims, if successful, may require us to redesign affected products, enter into costly settlement or license agreements, pay damage awards, or face a temporary or permanent injunction prohibiting us from marketing or selling certain of our products.
Litigation and regulation
Our results may be affected by the outcome of legal proceedings and other contingencies that cannot be predicted with certainty. As a large multi-national corporation that does business throughout all of the United States and in many other countries, subsequent developments in legal proceedings, including private civil litigations or proceedings brought by governmental entities, or changes in laws or regulations or their interpretation or administration, including developments in antitrust law or regulation, class actions, or intellectual property litigations, could result in an adverse effect on our results of operations. For a description of current legal proceedings and regulatory matters, see Legal Proceedings in Item 3 and Legal and Regulatory Matters in Managements Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations in Item 7 of this Form 10-K.
Many of our contracts are with governmental entities. Government contracts are subject to extensive and complex government procurement laws and regulations, along with regular audits of contract pricing and our business practices by government agencies. If we are found to have violated some provisions of the government contracts, we could be required to provide a refund, pay significant damages, or be subject to contract cancellation, civil or criminal penalties, fines, or debarment from doing business with the government. Any of these events could not only affect us financially but also affect our brand and reputation.
Our world headquarters and certain other facilities are located in Stamford, Connecticut. We have over 500 facilities that are either leased or owned throughout the U.S. and other countries. Our Mailstream Solutions and Mailstream Services businesses utilize these facilities jointly and separately. Our products are manufactured or assembled in a number of
locations, principally in Danbury, Connecticut; Harlow, United Kingdom; and Lyon and St. Denis, France. We believe that our manufacturing, administrative and sales office properties are adequate for the needs of all of our operations.
In the ordinary course of business, we are routinely defendants in or party to a number of pending and threatened legal actions. These may involve litigation by or against us relating to, among other things:
These litigations are on occasion brought on behalf of purported classes of customers, employees or others.
We are a defendant in a patent action brought by Ricoh Company, Ltd., in which there are allegations of infringement against certain of our important mailing products, including the DM SeriesTM. Ricoh Corporation et al. v. Pitney Bowes Inc. (United States District Court, District of New Jersey, filed November 26, 2002). The plaintiff in this action is seeking both large damages and injunctive relief. We prevailed at the trial held in this matter in the fall of 2006. The jury found the Ricoh patents at issue to be invalid. Even though a finding of invalidity means that the plaintiffs claim must fail, the jury was also required to rule on infringement and found that we infringed the Ricoh patents and did so willfully. As a result of the invalidity finding, we prevailed and no damages were awarded. The matter is currently on appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Our wholly-owned subsidiary, Imagitas, Inc., is a defendant in ten purported class actions filed in six different states. These litigations have been consolidated into a single federal multi-district litigation in the United States District for the Middle District of Florida, In re: Imagitas, Drivers Privacy Protection Act (Consolidated, May 28, 2007). Each of these lawsuits alleges that the Imagitas DriverSource program violates the federal Drivers Privacy Protection Act (DPPA). Under the DriverSource program, Imagitas enters into contracts with state governments to mail out automobile registration renewal materials along with third party advertisements, without revealing the personal information of any state resident to any advertiser. The DriverSource program assists the state in performing its function of delivering these mailings and funding the costs of them. The plaintiffs in these actions are seeking both statutory damages under the DPPA and an injunction against the continuation of the program. The plaintiffs have also sued state officials in four of the affected states, Florida, Minnesota, Missouri, and Ohio. Those suits have also been consolidated into the multi-district litigation. The state officials from Florida who were sued in their individual capacity have reached a settlement with the plaintiffs. As a result of that settlement, Imagitas has agreed to voluntarily suspend a portion of the program, pending a ruling in the litigation against it. During this period, Imagitas will still be placing advertisements in the registration renewal forms in Florida.
We expect to prevail in both the Ricoh litigation and the lawsuits against Imagitas; however, as litigation is inherently unpredictable, there can be no assurance in this regard. If the plaintiffs do prevail, the results may have a material effect on our financial position, future results of operations or cash flows, including, for example, our ability to offer certain types of goods or services in the future.
We did not submit any matters to a vote of our stockholders during the three months ended December 31, 2007.
Pitney Bowes common stock is traded under the symbol PBI. The principal market is the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). Our stock is also traded on the Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Pacific and Cincinnati stock exchanges. At December 31, 2007, we had 21,574 common stockholders of record.
On November 14, 2007, our Board of Directors authorized a two-cent increase of our quarterly common stock dividend to $0.35 per share, marking the 26th consecutive year that we have increased the dividend on our common stock. This represents a 6 percent increase and applies to the dividend with a record date of February 18, 2008.
See Equity Compensation Plan Information Table in Item 12 of this Form 10-K for information regarding securities for issuance under our equity compensation plans.
This excerpt taken from the PBI 10-K filed Mar 1, 2007.
Employees and Employee Relations
At December 31, 2006, we employed 25,856 persons in the U.S. and 8,598 persons outside the U.S. Headcount increased in 2006 compared to 2005 primarily due to our acquisitions in 2006, partially offset by our restructuring initiatives. We believe that our current relations with employees are very good. The large majority of our employees are not represented by any labor union. Our management follows the policy of keeping employees informed of decisions, and encourages and implements employee suggestions whenever practicable.