Activist investor Hestia Capital has proposed a majority slate of seven directors to replace current board members at Pitney Bowes, citing poor performance and what it termed strategic missteps over the past decade, with the company responding that Hestia is not interested in a good faith discussion.
The three major parcel carriers had a decent peak holiday season in terms of on-time performance, with service levels comparable to 2019, according to ShipMatrix, not surprising as volumes were lighter even though holiday sales increased, as many shoppers returned to stores. FedEx saw a significant improvement over its 2021 showing.
Pitney Bowes will get a board makeover with an installed majority and a new interim CEO, if investor Hestia Capital has its way, actions that have led management to take defensive measures. The hedge fund said it’s taking these hardball measures after the company refused its offer last month to bring in three new outside directors.
A hedge fund which made millions with its stake in GameStop before the struggling retailer became a Reddit-fueled stock phenomenon has invested in Pitney Bowes, believing its assets are undervalued, and suggesting its ecommerce unit could be sold. Hestia Capital may put forward a former Stamps.com executive as a director.
The situation in the parcel industry — high shipping rates, increased surcharges and shipping delays — is a convergence of many complex issues, including supply/demand imbalance, a rough economy and geopolitical woes. Let’s take a closer look at how ecommerce and government laws have disrupted supply chains.
While U.S. parcel volume rose nearly 6% to 21.5B pieces in 2021, it was the slowest growth in five years, and considerably less than the massive 31.5% gain in a pandemic-driven 2020, according to Pitney Bowes’ annual index. It also showed smaller carriers growing rapidly but still holding a tiny percentage of the overall pie.