NEW YORK, July 31 (Reuters) - Deluxe Corp (DLX.N), the largest U.S. printer of checks, on Thursday slashed its full-year profit forecast and said third-quarter results may also miss analyst forecasts, as a weak economy weighs on small business services, its largest unit.
The St. Paul, Minnesota-based company also said second-quarter profit fell 9 percent to $32.6 million, or 63 cents per share, from $36 million, or 69 cents, a year earlier. Revenue declined 8 percent to $367.7 million.
Analysts on average expected a profit of 62 cents per share on revenue of $381.3 million, according to Reuters Estimates.
“We are disappointed with our revenue performance in the quarter and certainly are not immune to the challenging economic conditions,” Chief Executive Lee Schram said.
Quarterly revenue fell 8 percent in small business services to $211.5 million because of “soft” economic conditions and lower Canadian check volume, Deluxe said. Revenue declined 7 percent in financial services and 11 percent in direct checks.
Deluxe projected third-quarter profit of 56 cents to 60 cents per share on revenue of $367 million to $374 million. Analysts on average expected profit of 79 cents per share on revenue of $390.4 million.
The company also projected full-year profit of $2.52 to $2.62 per share on revenue of $1.52 billion to $1.54 billion. Analysts on average expected profit of $2.95 per share on revenue of $1.57 billion.
Deluxe had on April 24 projected 2008 profit of $3.00 to $3.15 per share on revenue of $1.56 billion to $1.59 billion.
On Wednesday, Deluxe said it bought PartnerUp, an online networking community for small businesses. It also completed on Wednesday its purchase of Canadian Web company Hostopia.com.
Shares of Deluxe closed Wednesday at $19.35 on the New York Stock Exchange. They began the year at $32.89. (Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; Editing by Derek Caney, editing by Dave Zimmerman)