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Burdened by debt and a sagging stock price,



is considering a massive restructuring effort that could include selling its California-based financing arm to

General Electric


, according to a report in

The Wall Street Journal


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The newspaper cited executives who warned that talks with GE's capital unit could break off at any time. Nonetheless, Stamford, Conn.-based Xerox is likely to be forced to implement major cost-cutting measures and sell of some of its assets to keep the company afloat.

Shares of Xerox plunged to a new 52-week low of $6.75 on Wednesday after

rumors circulated through the market that the company might file for bankruptcy protection. The stock has lost about three-quarters of its value over the past year. Shares of Xerox closed unchanged Thursday at $7.63.

The world's largest copier company

announced early this month that it would likely report a third-quarter loss of 15 to 20 cents a share, compared with Wall Street expectations at that time of a 12-cent profit. A week later, it announced plans to cut its

dividend by 75% in an effort to revive its finances.

Analysts surveyed by

First Call/Thomson Financial

are now estimating, on average, that Xerox likely lost about 19 cents per share in the third quarter.