Shares of Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE PBI) took another run at their 52-week high Monday morning. This was in the wake of a Barron's article over the weekend that suggested the stock of this provider of business solutions could rise up to 60% in the next three years.
Barron's pointed out that Pitney Bowes postage meter business remains surprisingly profitable. And revenues from its nonpostal businesses are soaring, while the company has been cutting costs and paying down debt as well. The share price is up more than 130% since IBM alum Marc Lautenbach took up the reins as chief executive in December 2012.
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Just last week CNBC's Jim Cramer was on the Pitney Bowes bandwagon as well, lauding its transformation from a snail-mail focused business to a "digital communications powerhouse." He also pointed to the strategic partnership the company has with eBay Inc. (EBAY), providing the software that calculates the costs of shipping.
Pitney Bowes reported its most recent quarterly results at the end of April. Per-share earnings were marginally better than analysts expected, and revenue was up marginally from the same period a year ago. Lautenbach said in the release:
We are off to a good start to the year. The decisions we made and the actions we have taken over the past 15 months are beginning to pay off. While we have more to do, we are confident in our ability to continue to execute and deliver on our long-term financial model. Our strategy is the right one and we remain well-positioned to further capitalize on the changes in the marketplace and the requirements of our clients.
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Shares have traded mostly between $25 and $27 since the end of January. Shares were up more than 3.5% Monday morning to $26.94. The 52-week range is $13.63 to $27.59, and analysts have a mean price target of $29. However, at least one analyst surveyed by Thomson/First Call sees shares rising to $32 in the next year.
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