Shares of mailing equipment and services company Pitney Bowes
Earlier this month, Stamford, Conn.-based Pitney Bowes announced Q4 and full-year financial results. The Q4 operating figures weren't bad: Revenues rose 12% to $1.36 billion, and if you ignore a laundry list of after-tax charges the company showed solid year-over-year EPS growth in both its reported three- and 12-month periods.
Ignoring the charges is useful for comparative purposes, but divorcing them from the business is difficult because they're connected with management's decisions to do things such as restructure the organization and close a German plant. Even taking them into account, however, Pitney Bowes is doing just about everything right these days. The company saw revenue growth across its business lines and generated strong free cash flow for the year, helping it buy back shares and pay a growing dividend.
This is a familiar tune for longtime investors and Income Investor readers. There was, it seems, some unpleasantness last month when the company reported a legal settlement that was to trim $20 million from the company's Q4 pretax income, and the shares spent much of January moving downward -- but the settlement came in $7 million lighter than expected.
That, combined with Pitney Bowes' operating results, appears to have rekindled investor confidence: The shares are back at 52-week highs.
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Fool contributor Dave Marino-Nachison doesn't own shares of Pitney Bowes.