October 26, 2015 / 11:15 AM / 2 years ago

Xerox to review operations, not considering sale of company

(Reuters) - Xerox Corp XRX.N, best known for its printers and copiers, said it would review its businesses and capital allocation options, but was not currently considering a sale of the company.

Ursula Burns, Chairman and CEO of Xerox smiles when she attends an interview at The Times Center in New York in this April 13, 2013, file photo. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/Files

Xerox also reported its first net loss since the first quarter of 2010, but profit excluding restructuring costs inched past market expectations.

The company’s shares fell as much as 3 percent to $10.04 on Monday.

“One of the things that we are not currently considering is the sale of the company, but all other options will be looked at as we progress through this review,” Chief Executive Ursula Burns said on a conference call.

The company would also continue to look for tuck-in acquisitions, she said.

Xerox, like its rivals Lexmark International Inc LXK.N and Hewlett-Packard Co HPQ.N, has been shifting focus to software and services as corporate customers cut printing costs and consumers shift to mobile devices.

Lexmark also said last week it was exploring strategic options.

“I expect them to sharply curtail their share repurchases until the company is in better shape financially,” said Argus Research analyst Jim Kelleher.

Kelleher said if Xerox was reviewing its technology business, the company might have to sell the unit because another partnership wasn’t an option.

Xerox already has a joint venture with Japan’s Fujifilm Holdings 4901.T.

Xerox has already gone through a bit of restructuring over the past several quarters but the stock is yet to respond to efforts to turn around the 109-year old brand. The stock has lost more than a quarter of its value this year.

The company is revamping its government healthcare IT business and said in July it would discontinue sales of a product that can support operations in call centers and document imaging. Xerox has also cut 1780 jobs so far this year.

Kathryn Mikells, the company’s chief financial officer of two-and-a-half years, is also quitting to join Johnnie Walker whisky maker Diageo Plc DGE.L.

Xerox named Leslie Varon, vice president of investor relations, as the interim CFO and said it would immediately start and external search process.

“They are not transitioning fast enough,” Tigress Financial Partners analyst Ivan Feinseth said. “They have to evolve into a new type of company. Otherwise they will go the way of Eastman Kodak.”

Feinseth said Xerox needs to either spend on research and development or buy new technology.

Xerox reported a $34 million quarterly net loss attributable to shareholders, or 4 cents per share, in the third quarter ended Sept. 30. Excluding items, the company earned 24 cents per share versus analysts’ estimate of 23 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Reporting by Abhirup Roy in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Arathy S. Nair and Anya George Tharakan; Editing by Maju Samuel and Sayantani Ghosh

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