Xerox Corporation XRX reported year-over-year growth in revenues and adjusted earnings per share in fourth-quarter 2017 by reprioritizing investments and accelerating its restructuring actions.

Quarter Details

Adjusted earnings from continuing operations were $274 million or $1.04 per share in the reported quarter compared with $264 million or $1.00 per share in the year-earlier quarter. Adjusted earnings comfortably beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 94 cents. The year-over-year increase in adjusted earnings was aided by higher revenues. Also, despite rise in operating expenses, lower restructuring costs resulting from its strategic transformation program and lower interest expenses supported earnings.

For the reported quarter, the company incurred a GAAP loss of 76 cents per share compared with a loss of $3.30 in the year-ago quarter. GAAP loss from continuing operations were 78 cents per share compared with loss of 70 cents in the year-ago quarter.

The company reported adjusted earnings of $3.48 per share for full-year 2017. GAAP earnings for the year were 71 cents per share against loss of $1.93 in the prior year.

Total revenues for the quarter were $2,747 million compared with $2,734 million in the year-ago quarter. Quarterly sales exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,645 million. Product innovations boosted revenues with equipment sales of $682 million, up 4.3% year over year.

For 2017, the company reported total revenues of $10,265 million compared with $10,771 million in the previous year.

Xerox Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise

 

Xerox Corporation Price, Consensus and EPS Surprise | Xerox Corporation Quote

Margins

The company reported adjusted gross profit for the quarter of $1,111 million compared with $1,101 million in the prior-year quarter. The company reported adjusted operating profit of $395 million compared with $388 million a year ago. Adjusted gross margin was 40.4% compared with 40.3% in the prior-year quarter. Adjusted operating margin was 14.4% compared with 14.2% in the prior-year quarter.

Other Significant Events

Xerox has announced that it will acquire the Fuji Xerox joint venture, in which it previously held 25% equity ownership. The strategic acquisition will make Xerox a leader in innovative print technologies by augmenting its revenues and strengthening its market position.

Financial Position

As of Dec 31, 2017, Xerox had cash and cash equivalents of $1,293 million compared with $2,223 million in the previous year. Long-term debt was $5,235 million compared with $5,305 million in the prior-year quarter.

Net cash used in operating activities was $19 million against operating cash flow of $573 million in the year-ago quarter.

Xerox’s shares rallied post fourth-quarter earnings release. It would be interesting to see how the market reacts to the results during the trading session today. Xerox has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Guidance

For full-year 2018, Xerox expects GAAP earnings from continuing operations to be in the range of $2.30 to $2.50 per share and adjusted earnings in the range of $3.50 to $3.70. The company expects cash flow from continuing operations to be $900-$1,100 million and free cash flow from continuing operations to be $750-$950 million.

Stocks to Consider

Better-ranked stocks in the industry include S&P Global Inc. SPGI, Intertek Group plc IKTSY and IHS Markit Ltd. INFO each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

S&P Global has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 12.5%. It exceeded estimates in each of the trailing four quarters with an average beat of 11.1%.

Intertek has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 12%.

IHS Markit has an expected long-term earnings growth rate of 11.6%. It exceeded estimates twice in the trailing four quarters with an average beat of 1.8%.

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