Xerox said this morning that third-quarter profit reached $254 million, or 27 cents per share, a 53% decline from year-ago numbers (that included a 45-cent tax gain and charges of 14 cents per share). Revenue was 12% higher at $4.3 billion, helped along by a weaker dollar, building post-sale revenue, and contributions from the acquisition of Global Imaging Systems. Analysts were expecting per-share earnings of 26 cents on $4.24 billion in revenue.
For the fourth quarter, XRX sees per-share earnings ranging from 39 to 41 cents, compared with analysts' expectations of 41 cents per share. The company targets full-year earnings per share of $1.18 to $1.20, against Wall Street's consensus view of $1.18 per share.
Xerox shares are little moved by this news literally edging down a tiny fraction in early trading. The stock bottomed out in mid-August along with the rest of the market but its snap-back rally was recently halted overhead by its descending 10-week moving average. For the past few days, the equity has been slowly moving lower, violating its 10-day and 20-day trendlines in the process.
Despite the household recognition of its brand name, Xerox has not gained much attention from the Street. Just 4 analysts currently follow the shares, 3 of whom rate the stock a hold or sell. Future coverage or an upgrade could set the equity's uptrend back on track. What isn't likely to help the shares, however, is short-covering activity. Less than 1% of the stock's float is sold short, and all existing shorted positions could currently be covered in about 1 trading day (at Xerox's average daily volume).