warned Friday that its fourth-quarter earnings were likely to be 40% lower than Wall Street's estimates.
Analysts had been expecting Xerox to earn about 66 cents a share, according to a survey by
First Call/Thomson Financial
The announcement was made as the stock market closed. Shares of Xerox fell 3 3/8, or 14%, to end at 20 1/16, with most of the fall coming a few minutes after the 4 p.m. EST close.
The company said fears about year 2000 problems were weighing on its high-end printing and publishing equipment sales as were higher-than-expected expenses, including bad debts, stemming from restructuring charges.
The Stamford, Conn-based firm also said difficulties in the Brazilian economy would hurt its operations there, while a weak euro would cut into its revenues and profits.
The company said it expected many of these pressures to ease during the coming year.
"While I am disappointed with these adverse developments, the primary reasons are clearly unrelated to long-term fundamentals," said Rick Thoman, Xerox's president and chief executive.
He said in a statement the company was reviewing its businesses for areas to cut costs.
Thoman said he expected the earnings to post "meaningful growth" in the second half of 2000.
Xerox is scheduled to announce fourth-quarter results on Jan. 25, 2000.