As Elizabeth Harrow noted this morning in her new (and very helpful) Early Edge column, Xerox has announced plans to hand out its first quarterly cash dividend in more than 6 years. The payout, 4.25 cents per share, will be distributed January 31 to shareholders of record by the close of 2007. This is a bit lower than the nickel per share paid in 2001, but it certainly beats the alternative seen the last 6-plus years.
In a statement that accompanied this news, Xerox Chief Executive Anne Mulcahy noted that this new commitment to dividends is reflective of Xerox's return to investment grade strong cash generation and effective business model. The company took this opportunity to reiterate its full-year 2007 earnings outlook of $1.18 to $1.20 per share. It also expects 2008 earnings of $1.31 to $1.35 per share and 2009 earnings of $1.45 to $1.50 per share.
XRX shares have gained about 2.5% in early trading today but remain below technical resistance in the form of their 10-month and 20-month moving averages, which Elizabeth referenced earlier today. The stock appears poised to finish November below this pair of trendlines, marking the first such monthly close since July 2006. On the plus side, XRX has managed to skip above its 10-day moving average today after spending several days south of this trendline.