Xerox Earnings: Good News, Bad News

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Print and imaging company Xerox is among the first of the IT giants to post its earnings numbers for the fourth quarter of 2009. While there is some good news and some bad news, Xerox' report is the latest indication of just how lucky we are to be out of 2009.

Good news: Xerox reported an adjusted earnings per share of 25 cents, which is a little more than the 22 cents that was the average of Wall Street analyst expectations. It also said it expected its full-year earnings per share for 2010 to range between 75 cents and 85 cents on an adjusted basis. The average of analyst estimates called for 72 cents.

Bad news: For the last three months of last year, Xerox revenue was down, its equipment sales were down and its post-sale and financing revenue were flat.

More good news: Channel supplies sales increased during the quarter, Xerox said. This is particularly noteworthy for Xerox resellers who have been drawn in recent years to its PagePack program, which provides services and supplies to end users, through VARs, for fixed monthly costs.

Worth watching: Xerox overall revenue from its color offerings increased by one percent. That includes, though, a sharp drop in color hardware sales but continued growth and strong sales in color supplies. It seems businesses didn't buy an awful lot of new hardware during the fourth quarter, but they continued to keep using the machinery they already had in-house.

If everybody keeps using their existing hardware, eventually it will grow old, break down, become inefficient or otherwise need to be replaced. Somewhere on the horizon there will be a printing refresh cycle, if current use models continue.

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