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 user 2008-09-09 at 11:57:54 am Views: 67
  • #20364
    Official printer of golf’s Ryder Cup
    scorecards may still be done by hand, but when the world’s best golfers
    descend on Louisville for the 2008 Ryder Cup, all the paperwork will be
    coming from Lexmark printers.The Lexington-based printer maker is the
    “exclusive provider of output technology” for the event at the Valhalla
    Golf Club from Sept. 16 to 21.Lexmark will provide laser and
    multi-function printers, as well as network management and on-site

    OfficeMax selling more
    Lexmark inkjet printer
    chief Paul Rooke spoke last week to investors at a Citigroup technology
    conference about the company’s distribution.Rooke said the company has
    made some progress in getting more of its inkjet products into office
    superstores, particularly OfficeMax.”You’ll see a number of inkjets,
    particularly our Professional Series … We’re quite pleased with the
    results we’ve seen there so far,” he said.He called the company’s
    presence “mixed at the moment” in consumer electronics stores.Lexmark
    has a strong presence at Circuit City, with whom it has partnered in a
    recent advertising campaign. However, it was taken off U.S. Best Buy
    shelves earlier this year, and Best Buy sells the products only online.

    Overseas losing ground
    lost ground in the first half of the year in markets in Europe, the
    Middle East and Africa, according to market research firm Gartner,
    Inc.Trade publication Channel Web reports that Samsung replaced Lexmark
    as fifth in market share in the regions.HP remained the dominant leader
    with a market share of 44.6 percent, followed by Canon, 16.4 percent;
    Epson, 12.9 percent; Brother, 6.3 percent; and Samsung, 6 percent.

    New Middle East leader
    recently installed a new sales chief for its Middle East business. Mark
    Thompson previously worked in South Africa and will succeed Mohammed
    Addarrat, according to a report on ArabianBusiness.com.Thompson will
    focus on what’s called the channel, or the companies that purchase
    printers from Lexmark and then resell them.Addarrat told
    ArabianBusiness.com that Thompson brings “a fresh set of eyes to the
    management.”"A large number” of that management, he said, has been
    relocated recently.

    Stock buybacks sped up
    Lexmark disclosed
    to its investors last week that it has sped up its buyback of stock.In
    a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the company
    said it hired Citibank to buy up more than 3.4 million shares of stock
    by last Friday.That’s 85 percent of the shares that the deal calls to
    be repurchased by Citibank on behalf of Lexmark.Lexmark is paying the
    company $150 million from its available cash.The company said it’s a
    more effective and economical way to do a share repurchase.Lexmark has
    been aggressively buying back stock over the past few years. Between
    2004 and and the middle of 2007, it spent about $2.4 billion buying
    back shares. The share count dropped from 133.1 million at that time to
    95.5 million.The company had stopped, though, as most of its available
    cash was overseas and would have to be repatriated, triggering
    taxes.But it began again this year after it issued $650 million in debt
    for reasons including to fund share repurchases.The company touts the
    buybacks as a way of returning value to shareholders by lowering the
    number of outstanding shares, though some analysts have questioned why
    the company doesn’t establish a dividend instead.

    New large shareholder
    SEC filing last week disclosed that investment group D.E. Shaw &
    Co. owns more than 5 percent of Lexmark’s stock.The SEC requires such
    large investors to disclose their holdings.The company owns more than
    4.6 million shares in the company, which amounted to 5.3 percent as of
    Sept. 1.