Financial Printing–Riding Out The Stocks

Financial printing experiences its highs and lows as does the stock market. A bullish stock market makes for a bullish financial printing climate. For 1999, fingers are crossed the bulls will be running.

BY MARIE RANOIA ALONSO

In 1997, the financial printing market was considered by some financial printers to be the hottest bull market in the history of mankind. Some financial printers dubbed 1997 the finest year ever for financial printing, with mergers and acquisitions in abundance and mutual funds robust.

Life was good.

Then came 1998—a year in which the bears took over and the stock market treated financial printers with a touch less kindness.

Top 10 Financial Printers
  Company Segment
Sales
(millions)
Total Sales
(millions)
1 R.R. Donnelley & Sons
Chicago
$485.00 $4,850.00
2 Bowne & Co.
New York
$372.66 $716.65
3 Merrill Corp.
St. Paul, MN
$184.00 $460.00
4 Cadmus Communications
Richmond, VA
$55.13 $393.80
5 Daniels Printing
Everett, MA
$39.60 $66.00
6 Northstar Computer Forms
Brooklyn Park, MN
$32.40 $46.28
7 Cunningham Graphics Int’l
Jersey City, NJ
$24.00(E) $53.58(E)
7 Applied Printing Technologies
Moonachie, NJ
$24.00 $100.00
9 Packquisition Corp.
Philadelphia
$19.00 $38.00
9 Scott Printing
New Providence, NJ
$19.00 $38.00

Joseph Weiss, CEO and president at Philadelphia-based Packquisition Corp., puts it this way, plain and simple: “What financial printing market in 1998? It died!”

“1998 saw a dramatic downturn of the transactional printing business, so much so that it caused us to look hard at making some labor cuts and tightening our entire financial printing effort,” Weiss says. “We had to work tighter, work closer and work harder to ride out the ups and downs of the stock market this year.”

Still, reporting that a strong share of Packquisition’s financial printing power is bond work done for the City of Philadelphia, Weiss remains optimistic for the coming year.

“I’ve been through this kind of market several times before,” he states. “If the stock market maintains itself moving into Q1 1999, and the Federal Reserve is aggressive, we may see a shorter cycle of the dry spell in financial printing. But, if we have a bear market, the cycle will be a little longer—it always comes back.”

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