Xerox Boosts 2012 Earnings Forecast After Adding Services

Tuesday, 10 May 2011 01:00 PM

 

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Xerox Corp., the printer maker that bought Affiliated Computer Services Inc. last year, boosted its 2012 earnings forecast as it adds more services.

Per-share profit, excluding some items, will be $1.18 to $1.28 next year, the Norwalk, Connecticut-based company said today in a statement before its investor briefing in New York. Analysts, on average, estimated $1.23, according to a Bloomberg survey.

Chief Executive Officer Ursula Burns is trying to squeeze costs and boost sales while integrating her $6 billion purchase of Affiliated Computer Services, the company’s largest ever. Sales will grow at least 4 percent in 2012, the company said.

“We’re focused on expanding our business globally, particularly with services,” Burns told investors at the briefing at the New York Stock Exchange.

Xerox had previously forecast 2012 per-share profit of $1.10 to $1.20, excluding some items.

The company maintained this year’s earnings forecast, excluding some items, of $1.05 per share to $1.10 per share, with sales growth of 3 percent to 5 percent. On that basis, sales would be at most $22.7 billion, compared with analysts’ average estimate of $22.9 billion.

Xerox climbed 16 cents to $10.34 at 12:01 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The shares had dropped 12 percent this year before today.

Cost Cutting

Services sales will grow at least 6 percent by 2012, the company said. Revenue in its technology unit will climb 1 percent to 3 percent next year, as Xerox expands distribution and companies print more color pages.

Xerox reduced costs by $100 million in 2010, and plans to cut another $120 million in expenses this year, as it uses services from ACS, which handles accounting, benefits and other administrative tasks for customers, Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri said at the investor briefing. Burns also eliminated about 5,000 jobs last year.

The company also reiterated its plan to begin repurchasing shares this year, after halting buybacks following the ACS acquisition. The company will spend at least 70 percent of its available cash, which should total $1 billion to $1.2 billion, on the repurchases, starting in the third quarter, Maestri said.

“It’s a huge deal — massive, massive,” said Ananda Baruah, an analyst with Brean Murray Carret & Co., of the repurchases. “It’s as big a reason that people are in the stock as anything else.” Baruah recommends buying the shares.

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