Xerox posts drop in third-quarter earnings

/ Source: The Associated Press

Xerox Corp. reported another drop in quarterly profit Thursday as companies continue to spend cautiously on printer and copier supplies and take longer to upgrade office equipment.

The Norwalk, Conn.-based company is benefiting from cost controls, and raised its full-year adjusted profit forecast above of Wall Street's current expectations.

But in a statement, Xerox CEO Ursula Burns said, "We have not seen a meaningful shift towards increased spending on technology."

Burns, who took over the top job at Xerox from Anne Mulcahy in July, said companies are waiting for "steady" improvement in the economy before they invest more. She said Xerox expects similar trends through the end of the year.

The company earned $123 million, or 14 cents per share, in the three months ended Sep. 30, down 52 percent from $258 million, or 29 cents per share, a year ago.

Sales fell 16 percent to $3.68 billion from $4.37 billion a year ago.

Hoping to find a new engine for growing revenues, Xerox agreed last month to buy Affiliated Computer Services Inc., a company that handles critical back-office functions for other businesses.

Excluding one-time costs related to the planned acquisition, Xerox expects full-year earnings of 55 cents to 57 cents, up from a previous range of 50 cents to 55 cents. On average, analysts were predicting earnings of 53 cents, according to a Thomson Reuters survey. that handles critical back-office functions for other businesses.