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Why Inc. Stock Dived Today

By Jeremy Bowman – Nov 1, 2018 at 4:59PM

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Shares of the online postage seller slipped in spite of a strong earnings report. Here's why.

What happened

Shares of (STMP) were getting shredded today. Investors brushed off better-than-expected results in its third-quarter earnings report as worries about slowing profit growth, a trade war with China, and a potential change in its relationship with the Postal Service persisted. stock closed the day down 9.7%.

A bin moves on a conveyor belt in a warehouse

Image source: Getty Images.

So what 

The postage specialist reported another round of strong revenue growth -- up 25% to $143.5 million, topping estimates at $132.5 million. However, gross profit growth in the quarter was slower, rising 18%, as service costs more than doubled to $25.1 million, and non-GAAP gross margin fell from 81.7% to 77.5%. Adjusted earnings per share increased just 3% to $2.76, but that still beat estimates at $2.34. 

CEO Ken McBride summed up the quarter:

We are very pleased with our third-quarter financial performance and with the successful closing of our acquisition of MetaPack. We achieved strong organic performance in our financial metrics in a traditionally seasonally slower period. We believe we are well positioned as we enter the seasonally strong fourth quarter, and we remain very excited about our long-term business opportunities.

Now what 

Management raised its full-year guidance in part to account for the Metapack acquisition, calling for revenue of $550 million to $580 million, up from a previous range of $530 million to $560 million. That compares with the analyst consensus at $565.7 million. On the bottom line, it raised its adjusted EPS guidance from a range of $10.15 to $11.15, to a range of $10.60 to $11.60, better than the average analyst estimate at $10.79.

Although the company beat estimates, traders seem more focused on slowing profit growth, the trade war, and a possible change in its contract with the post office. Shares of are now down more than 40% since their peak this summer on those concerns, and they could remain that way as profits are expected to be relatively flat through next year.


Jeremy Bowman has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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