Recently I’ve read that Lexmark’s stock has dropped 7.2% and that senior management at Sage (makers of ACT! amongst other things) has left.
Does this affect your business?
I am not a financial analyst in any way, but as a simple observer of things, I think it could and depending on the seriousness of the situation, often does.
Regarding Lexmark, CNN writes “Overall hardware revenues declined 11 percent versus our estimate for a 5.1 percent decline,” Shope [JP Morgan analyst] wrote. “Most importantly, in our view, the company guided for declines in inkjet units of approximately 30 percent.”
All companies have ups and downs, but in the world of printing, there’s 1 dominant player – Hewlett Packard – and small handful of players that have various market shares. These include Dell (Lexmark makes Dell printers), Xerox, Canon, Brother, recently Kodadk and a few others. If Lexmark is falling on hard times and its hardware sales are in decline, this is not good. My guess is Lexmark could be an acquisition target.
This affects your business, because if you are investing in Lexmark and they are cutting employees, you might not get the ongoing support you need. On the other hand, only time will tell if this is a temporary setback.
In the case of Sage, MSNBC through Financial Times reports that A trading update revealed that growth in the North American business was the weakest of the group’s four territorial divisions in the year to end-September, with sales up 4 per cent, against 7 per cent across the group.
This is one of those stories where the headlines blare “sales fall”. But if you read deeper they actually went up, but just by less than the previous year.
Sage has a loyal following of customers, a strong and vibrant reseller channel and a solid base of good products (ACT!, Peachtree and others).
The long term viability of Sage is strong (I think) but it is a company to keep your eye on, going forward.
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