NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- "Let me Xerox (XRX) that article for you." The words slipped off my tongue from a bygone era, when a friend told me he enjoyed reading an article that was sitting on my kitchen counter when he last visited.What I was saying was, "I'll step into my office a make you a copy of it" but force of habit prevailed. That reminded me the word "Xerox" was, for decades, synonymous with document copiers, fax machines and even printers. Mercy me, how times have changed. Today Xerox still has its brand name, but it has widened its menu of products and services by leaps and bounds. I visited the company's eye-pleasing Web site to get a feel for how wide that menu really is. Founded in 1906 and employing about 140,000 people as of 2012, XRX has invested in its intrinsic value through an innovative corporate culture that emphasizes research and development. This is partly reflected in its cache of over 10,700 active patents and the following corporate self-description: For more than a half a century, Xerox has been a leader in document technology and services. We continue to build on this heritage of innovation. Through our acquisition of Affiliated Computer Services, we now are the world's leading enterprise for business process and document management, offering global services from claims reimbursement and automated toll transaction to customer care centers and HR benefits management.
The "new Xerox" has focused its resources on innovation, service and empowering its customers to focus on what matters most to them. It interacts with its diversified client base using a partnering attitude that connotes that XRX wins only if its customers win, too. Ursula M. Burns is chairman and chief executive of Xerox, which she joined in 1980 as a mechanical engineering summer intern. Burns was named CEO in July 2009, just prior to XRX making the largest acquisition in its history, the $6.4 billion purchase of Affiliated Computer Services. This big step gave the company its presence in the $500 billion business services market and extended the company's reach into diverse areas of business process and information technology outsourcing.
With sales approaching $23 billion, XRX has emerged as the world's leading enterprise for document management and "business process," a term it uses for its outsourcing and IT services. "Thousands of companies rely on us to help improve their processes, manage client operations, and focus on their core business," the company's Web site proudly proclaims. As its market cap approaches $11 billion and its year-over-year (as of March 31) quarterly EPS growth reached 10%, I get the sense Xerox is toeing the line and staying in synch with the guiding philosophy of Chairman and CEO Burns. "As I've progressed in my career, I've come to appreciate -- and really value -- the other attributes that define a company's success beyond the P&L: great leadership, long-term financial strength, ethical business practices, evolving business strategies, sound governance, powerful brands, values-based decision-making," she says, a quote prominently displayed on XRX's Web site. Let's look at a five-year chart to get a better picture of how her leadership and corporate philosophy has worked out for XRX and its stock. XRX data by YCharts