Deluxe Shares Soar Despite Second Quarter Losses

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ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Shares in check-printer surged almost 20% Thursday morning after company officials announced steep second quarter losses and cost-cutting plans. The company said net losses were $2 million, or five cents a share, for the second quarter, compared to a profit of $42 million, or 83 cents a share, for the second quarter last year. This year's second quarter included a $45 million write-off for the abandonment of a software project. Revenues declined by 7% for the period to $403 million. Deluxe also slashed its second quarter dividend by 33% to 25 cents a share. New CEO Lee Schram said the company had identified cost-cutting and efficiency opportunities that could reduce costs by $150 million or more by the end of 2008. Deluxe shares were trading up almost 20% to $16.48 on Thursday morning following the news. For the first six months of the year, Deluxe reported a 7% decline in revenues to $814 million, and a 73% drop in earnings to $22 million, or 42 cents a share, compared to the first half last year.

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