Brean Murray, Carret & Co. (BMC) downgraded its rating on shares of Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE:PBI) to "Hold" from "Buy", saying it sees balanced risk reward ($10 - $16) for the time being given softer macro.
"We're moving our rating...as we see balanced risk reward ($10 - $16) for the time being as we wait to 1) get further visibility on macro, 2) see what the impact of slower economic growth is on meter adoption, and 3) see what kind of catalyst Volly can be in late 2012 & early 2013," BMC analyst Ananda Baruah wrote.
Baruah said recent macro headwinds have become exacerbated since the Mar Q call and since meetings with management on 5/30 and 6/4.
"PBI's 2012 guidance is predicated on ongoing improvement on meter installs (Mar Q was down mid-single digits vs. Dec Q of double digit declines) – we believe this is less likely with macro softening; we expect FX also to be an additional headwind, albeit less significant," the analyst said.
While Baruah believes PBI could re-affirm their 2012 EPS guidance of $2.05 - $2.25, the analyst believes it's increasingly likely they end up at the lower end of the range. Baruah lowered 2012 EPS estimate for the company to $2.10 from $2.15 (Street at $2.08).
The analyst continues to find the dividend yield of 11 percent very attractive. "So for investors that don't believe our $10 potential downside scenario has merit, Pitney can still be an attractive investment given the dividend yield."
Stamford, Connecticut-based Pitney Bowes is engaged in the management and integration of physical and digital communication channels.
The stock, which has been trading between $12.81 and $21.76 over the past year, edged 0.30 lower to trade at $13.20 on Tuesday.