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 user 2005-06-01 at 9:57:00 am Views: 96
  • #9810

    Xerox CEO promises vigilance in recovery
    STAMFORD,Conn. — Compared to Xerox’s annual shareholder meetings of the
    recent past, when angry shareholders griped about the company’s accounting
    scandal and other troubles, Thursday’s gathering was a brief, subdued
    During the half-hour meeting, Chief Executive Anne Mulcahy told shareholders
    the copier and printer company’s financial health was the strongest it had been
    in a long time – and promised to avoid the problems of the past.

    Xerox has returned to profitability in recent years after it was hit by an
    accounting scandal, loss of market share, mounting debt and a sharp drop in its
    stock price.

    “Xerox is strong and getting stronger,” Mulcahy said, noting the company has
    cut its debt and improved its profits. “We have not been this financially
    healthy for a very long time.”

    Mulcahy said the Stamford-based company is transforming itself into a
    business increasingly focused on products that produce documents in color and
    helping other companies manage their documents to save money.

    “Two-thirds of our equipment sales
    are coming from products and services introduced in the past two years,” Mulcahy
    said. “The copier and hardware company has morphed into a technology and
    services enterprise.”
    Mulcahy said Xerox is mindful of strong competition and is spending plenty of
    time with customers. The company introduced 40 new products last year and won
    525 patents, she said.”I am optimistic about the future,” Mulcahy said. “But I don’t want to
    mistake optimism for arrogance. We realize better than most how easy it is to
    lose your way.”This year, the few shareholders who spoke were interested in sharing in the
    success, asking if the company plans to restore its dividend and whether more
    help is on the way for retirees struggling with higher health care premiums.
    Mulcahy said the company would consider reinstating a dividend and would
    monitor the concerns of retirees.
    Shareholders approved the election of 11 members of the Xerox board of
    directors, including new director Robert McDonald, a 25-year veteran of Procter
    & Gamble Co.
    Shareholders also ratified the selection of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as
    Xerox’s independent auditors for 2005.
    Shares of Xerox closed unchanged Thursday on the New York Stock Exchange at
    $13.95. The stock has traded between $12.56 and $17.24 over the past