Bloomberg News

Shares of postage machine maker Pitney Bowes (PBI - Get Report) plunged on Wednesday after the company reported a first-quarter loss amid a continued slowdown in commercial use of its shipping and mailing equipment and software.

Pitney Bowes posted a net loss of $2.66 million, or 1 cent a share, vs. net income of $59.9 million, or 32 cents a share, in the comparable year-ago quarter.

On an adjusted basis, which included the sale of some of its money-losing European operations, the company posted per-share earnings of 12 cents - less than half the 28 cents it earned in the first quarter of 2018 and below the 21 cents a share expected by analysts surveyed by FactSet.

Revenue dropped to $868.4 million from $896.6 million a year earlier.

"While we delivered first-quarter revenue that was largely in-line with our expectations, we fell short on profitability," CEO Marc Lautenbach said in a statement. "Clearly, we are not pleased with our profit performance, but are confident that the actions we are taking will improve profitability and continue to position us for sustained growth for the long term."

The company also updated its 2019 guidance. It now expects revenue growth in the range of 1%-3% over 2018, with adjusted per-share earnings from continuing operations of between 90 cents and $1.05.

Pitney Bowes stock was down nearly 23%, or $1.62, at $5.49 in mid-afternoon trading in New York.