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Xerox shares climb after Q3 results

Shares of Xerox Corp.  were up 4 percent after the firm’s third-quarter earnings beat Street estimates.

The stock (NYSE: XRX) was trading at $8.05 midday, up from Wednesday’s close of $7.72.

Xerox reported earnings per share of 14 cents before markets opened, down from 29 cents a share a year ago. Net income of $123 million was down 52 percent from a profit of $258 million in last year’s quarter.

Revenue was $3.7 billion, down 16 percent from $4.4 billion, including a 2 percentage point negative impact from currency.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected Xerox to report earnings per share of 12 cents on revenues of $3.63 billion.

“Our third-quarter performance reflects our continued disciplined approach to managing cash and reducing costs,” said Xerox CEO Ursula Burns in a statement. “As a result, we exceeded our expectations for earnings and operating cash flow, and are benefiting from operational improvements that are mitigating the economic challenges.”

Operating cash flow for the quarter was $610 million. Through the third quarter, the company has generated $1.2 billion in operating cash flow, and has increased its expectation for the full year to $1.7 billion.

Xerox ended the quarter with a cash balance of $1.2 billion, the company said. Total debt was down $938 million through the first three quarters, and the company is on track to reduce total debt by more than $1 billion this year.

Xerox expects fourth-quarter earnings per share of 20 cents to 22 cents, excluding costs related to the acquisition of Affiliated Computer Service Inc. The company has increased its full-year earnings expectation to 55 cents to 57 cents a share, which excludes fourth-quarter ACS acquisition costs. Prior guidance for full-year 2009 was 50 cents to 55 cents a share.

Late last month, Xerox said it would acquire Dallas-based ACS for some $6.4 billion, a mix of cash and stock, in a move to build the services side of its business. The acquisition will more than double Xerox’s total employment and send its revenues well above $20 billion annually.

In other Xerox news, Chairman Anne Mulcahy was appointed to the board of directors of Johnson & Johnson .

(c) 2009 Rochester Business Journal. Obtain permission to reprint this article.

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