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Xerox Earnings Down, But Outpace Analyst Views By Penny

Xerox , a maker of document equipment and software, posted lower quarterly net income, hurt by restructuring costs, but sales of its digital color systems improved.

The company, whose growth is driven by high-end printing and document-management services, said net income fell to $214 million, or 22 cents a share, from $282 million, or 27 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding costs related to restructuring, profit was 38 cents a share. Analysts had expected 37 cents, according to Thomson Financial.

Revenue totaled $4.38 billion, a 3% increase, all of which was the result of a weaker dollar. quipment sales fell 1%, but post-sale revenue -- or sales of supplies and services -- rose 5%. Revenue from color products rose 13%.

Xerox said gross margins were 41.1%, about flat from fourth quarter of 2005.

Over the past three years, Xerox has grabbed market share with new digital printers and office systems, but it still struggles to lift revenue. Xerox expects that over time its digital sales will yield higher profit margins.

The company says sales of color printers yield five times the revenue of black-and-white systems, fueled by service contracts and supplies like paper and replacement ink and toner.

Looking ahead, Xerox said it sees first quarter earnings in a range of 21 cents a share to 23 cents a share. Analysts were expecting a profit of 22 cents a share, according to Reuters
Estimates.

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