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What: Shares of mail and shipping specialist Pitney Bowes (NYSE:PBI) were looking stronger today, gaining as much as 15% after announcing earnings and saying it would sell its management service unit to Apollo Global Management for $400 million.
So what: The sale, which is expected to close in the fourth quarter, is for the division that works with corporate and government clients to boost efficiency, and the company argued it would allow it to focus on its core mail and e-commerce offerings. As for the earnings report, profits from continuing operations reached $0.52 a share, topping expectations of $0.43, while revenue came in at $1.19 billion, in line with estimates. Considering the sale of the management unit, the company lowered its full-year guidance from continuing operations to $1.62-$1.77 from $1.85-$2.00 before.
Now what: I wouldn't expect any fireworks out of Pitney Bowes, as revenues were already projected to decline, but for investors looking for a solid dividend/value play, this looks like a good bet. The sale, which accounts for more than 10% of its market cap, will give it a further cushion to fund its near 5% dividend yield, and the company is still valued at a P/E below 10 after today's jump and guidance adjustment. It's hard to argue with numbers like that.
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