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USPS finances

Postal worker sorts mail on conveyor belt inside processing plant

The Postal Service has reported its financial results for fiscal year 2020’s first quarter (Oct. 1-Dec. 31, 2019). Here are some highlights:

• Revenue. Total revenue was $19.4 billion, down 1.8 percent from the same period one year earlier. First-Class Mail revenue declined 2.5 percent, while Marketing Mail revenue fell 5.4 percent. Shipping and packages revenue increased 2.3 percent.

• Volume. Total volume was 37.8 billion pieces, down 6.2 percent from the same period one year earlier. First-Class Mail volume declined 3.8 percent, while Marketing Mail volume was down 7.9 percent, primarily due to the high level of political and election mail in October 2018 and November 2018 that was not replicated during the same months in 2019. Shipping and packages volume declined 4.6 percent.

• Expenses. Total operating expenses were $20.1 billion. Excluding non-cash fair value adjustments to the workers’ compensation liability, total expenses were essentially flat compared with the first quarter of fiscal year 2019.

• Net loss. The net loss for the quarter totaled nearly $748 million, a decrease in net loss of $789 million compared with a net loss of $1.5 billion for the same quarter one year earlier.

“We demonstrated once again the power of our unrivaled network and our ability to provide solutions for our customers while growing package volumes during our peak period. Package revenue for the quarter grew by $146 million. However, overall volumes and mail revenues for the quarter were down, and we continue to face systemic profitability challenges due to our restrictive business model and mandated costs,” said Postmaster General Megan J. Brennan.

“We will continue to aggressively pursue opportunities to generate profitable revenues and drive greater operational efficiencies under our current structure, while also seeking legislative and regulatory reforms to allow the Postal Service to better invest in our business, compete for customers, control our costs and serve the evolving needs of the public.”

The Postal Service’s financial results in the Form 10-Q are available at usps.com.

Buy, buy love

Looking to show your significant other how much you care this Valentine’s Day?

The Postal Service has you covered.

A variety of unique gifts are available at usps.com, including stamps and stationery, as well as a few items that might surprise you.

The offerings include a 14-karat gold necklace from the 2018 Love Flourishes stamp release that sells for $145, as well as a sterling silver necklace that’s available for $130. Quantities of both are limited, so if you’re interested, act fast.

You can also purchase a set of 10 notecards from the Love Flourishes line for $17.95, as well as tote bags that are available in packs of five for $15.95.

Tote bags featuring a collage of Love stamps ($15.95), as well as wedding and Peace Rose stamp bags ($9.95 each), are available in packs of five. Peace Rose notecards are available in sets of eight for $21.95.

Is your loved one an art lover?

If so, there are lots of choices, including framed art from Made of Hearts ($59.95), this year’s Love stamp, as well as framed art from the Love Flourishes release ($39.95), the 2019 Hearts Blossom stamp ($14.95) and the 2017 Love Skywriting stamp ($39.95).

Looking to spend some quality time with your sweetheart? Why not curl up with him or her in front of a roaring fire and complete a Love stamps puzzle, which usps.com sells for $13.99?

No matter what you choose, know this: Through Feb. 21, the website is offering 20 percent off select items when customers use coupon code LOVE20.

You’ll also find lots of gift choices at select Post Offices, including gift cards and greeting cards. From Jan. 4-Feb. 14, customers will save $1 when they purchase two Hallmark greeting cards. A coupon, available wherever Hallmark cards are sold, is required.

Post Offices and usps.com are also where you can pick up the Made of Hearts stamp, available in panes of 20 for $11 — a deal that everyone can love.

The envelopes, please

A few movies with mail themes are contenders for Academy Awards this weekend.

The best animated feature category includes “Klaus,” the story of Jesper, a hapless mail carrier who is sent to work in a frozen town in the north where he discovers Santa Claus is hiding out.

The film — which features the voices of Jason Schwartzman, J.K. Simmons and Norm Macdonald — was released in November and is now available on Netflix.

Other Oscar nominees feature stamp subjects.

This list includes “A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood,” which earned Tom Hanks a best supporting actor nomination for his role as Fred Rogers, who was honored with a Mister Rogers stamp in 2018, and “Judy,” which stars best actress nominee Renée Zellweger as Judy Garland, who was featured on a Legends of Hollywood stamp in 2006.

The film “1917” — which is up for 10 awards, including best picture — is set during World War I, which has been the subject of several stamps through the years, including World War I: Turning the Tide, a release from two years ago that’s still available on usps.com.

Meanwhile, letter writing figures into the plot of “Little Women,” another best picture nominee.

Last year, “Green Book,” a film inspired by a postal-connected travel guide for African Americans, won three Oscars, including best picture, best original screenplay and best supporting actor for Mahershala Ali.

ABC will broadcast this year’s ceremony Sunday, Feb. 9.

City of Love

“News Quiz” is a weekly feature that lets you test your knowledge of recent Link stories. The correct answers appear at the end.

1. Where did the Postal Service dedicate Made of Hearts, this year’s Love stamp?

a) Alpine, TX
b) Memphis, TN
c) Monterey Park, CA
d) Washington, DC

2. Where are proceeds from the sale of the Save Vanishing Species stamp transferred?

a) People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals
b) Sierra Club
c) U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
d) World Wildlife Fund

3. Which stamp subject topped the New York Public Library’s recent list of its most popular books?

a) “Charlotte’s Web” by E.B. White
b) “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” by J.K. Rowling
c) “The Snowy Day” by Ezra Jack Keats
d) “The Cat in the Hat” by Dr. Seuss

4. What’s the price of a First-Class Mail postcard stamp, as of Jan. 26?

a) 15 cents
b) 35 cents
c) 50 cents
d) 55 cents

5. What’s the name of the new USPS platform that automates the invoicing of Qualified Business Reply Mail?

a) Informed Mail barcode Accounting
b) Informed Visibility barcode Accounting
c) Intelligent Delivery barcode Accounting
d) Intelligent Mail barcode Accounting

Answers: 1) b. 2) c. 3) c. 4) b. 5) d.