stock shoots 30% higher as earnings, forecast destroy expectations Inc. STMP, +3.89% shares soared 30% higher in after-hours trading Wednesday after the online postage-sales company released fourth-quarter results and a 2020 forecast that belied fears that a divorce from the U.S. Postal Service would destroy its business. earned $20.3 million, or $1.13 a share, compared with $42.7 million, or $2.30 a share, in the fourth quarter of 2018. Adjusted for one-time items, earned $2.12 a share, compared with $3.73 a share a year ago. Revenue fell 5% to $161 million, compared with $170 million in the fourth quarter of 2018. Those results beat expectations, as analysts on average expected adjusted earnings of adjusted earnings of $1.03 a share on sales of $144.7 million, according to FactSet. shares were literally cut in half after the company ended its exclusive deal with the USPS a year ago, but that move has allowed it to partner with other carriers, and the company said Wednesday that it could return to sales growth in 2020. projected 2020 earnings of $2.08 to $2.92 a share, or $4 to $5 on an adjusted basis, on revenue of $570 million to $600 million, after the company posted total 2019 revenue of $571.9 million. Analysts on average were expecting 2020 adjusted earnings of $3.24 a share on sales of $537.7 million, according to FactSet. "We are very excited about our business prospects in 2020 and beyond," Chief Executive Ken McBride said in Wednesday’s announcement. After closing at $95.46, shares topped $125 in the extended session Wednesday following the release of the results.

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