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Xerox CEO Dispels Auction Talk As Revenue Dips

While overall sales were lower, Xerox channel sales were up 14.4 percent in the second quarter.

While new Xerox CEO John Visentin told investors on Thursday the company is not preparing for auction, he refused to comment on whether the iconic American printer was entertaining buyers.

’The board will evaluate a strategic alternative as indicated, but at the end of the day if someone wants to come in with a strategic offer we would need to evaluate it and bring it to the board. I’m not commenting on any potential discussions,’ Visentin told analysts during its second-quarter earnings call.

In response to a question regarding a recent Reuters report that Xerox may sell its financing division, he said only that ’there’s no changes to communicate at this time.’

Xerox reported that its second-quarter revenue came in at $2.51 billion, down 2.2 percent from a year ago but above analysts' expectations. The dip hit the company's bottom line. Earnings per share were 42 cents compared to the year ago quarter when earnings were 64 cents. Xerox said that its adjusted earnings per share were 80 cents, below analysts' expectations of 92 cents.

Xerox saw a drop in net income from $112 million this quarter compared to $164 million reported at the same time last year.

One bright spot was in equipment sales, which were up almost one percent to $561 million. For Xerox partner Josh Justice, president of JustTech in La Plata, Md. the figures came as welcome news.

’It’s a great sign that equipment revenue is up for Xerox, because that will bring more post-sale revenue in the coming months,’ he told CRN. ’JustTech’s Xerox equipment sales – as well as most partners I have spoken to – are up year over year, especially on the SMB market. The economy is strong, and SMBs are doing well and growing.’

Xerox CFO Bill Osbourn backed that up during the call, telling investors that channel sales in the SMB segment continues to be strong, up 14.4 percent in the second quarter. Meanwhile enterprise sales dipped one percent.

Justice said that Xerox should put its seasoned sales partners in the channel to use to increase revenues in other areas aside from the SMB market.

’Xerox needs to send more products to the channel, including production,’ he said. ’Channel partners have shown they can increase equipment sales in Xerox products and this would allow the equipment revenue to grow even more.’

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