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Pitney Bowes

(PBI) - Get Pitney Bowes Inc. Report

said its board approved the spinoff of the company's office systems business, a move that will lower earnings per share for 2000 and 2001.

The office equipment and mailing services company now expects earnings of $2.15 to $2.18 a share for 2000, compared with $2.34 a share in 1999. According to

First Call/Thomson Financial

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, nine analysts are expecting earnings of $2.45 a share for the year. For 2001, the company expects earnings of $2.35 to $2.40 a share, below the consensus estimate of $2.69 a share.

Pitney Bowes also said the spinoff, which requires shareholder approval, will result in a decline of about 5% in fourth-quarter revenue. The company didn't provide an estimate for fourth-quarter revenue, but said it expects revenue in 2000 to grow by about 2% and revenue in 2001 to grow 4% to 6%. Analysts on average expect revenue of $4.65 billion in 2000 and $4.73 billion in 2001.

The company expects to complete the transaction by the end of the third quarter of 2001. Existing Pitney Bowes shareholders will receive all of the stock of the new company.

Shares of Pitney Bowes were lately down 38 cents, or 1.2%, to $30 in trading on the

New York Stock Exchange