Industry profits data came out earlier this month, and annualized profits for Q1 of this year were down very slightly from $3.66 billion to $3.58 billion. We’re just never going to cross that $4 billion threshold....

In Q1, for the industry on average, profits before taxes were 2.98% of revenues, and for the last six quarters, they’ve averaged 3.83% of revenues.

Looking at large vs. small printers is always unpredictable. Back in March, when we looked at the Q4 2018 profits report, we noted that large printers’ profits before taxes were 4.76% of revenues, while for smaller printers, they were 4.11% of revenues. We remarked that the gap between the “two cities” was closing, considering how wide it had been earlier in 2018.

Well, the cities are getting farther apart again. In Q1, for printers with under $25 million in assets, profits before taxes were 8.76% of revenues. For large printers, those over $25 million in assets, profits before taxes were again negative: -2.30% of revenues.

If we’re wondering why that $4 billion barrier seems so unattainable, this is a good part of the reason.