Xerox (XRX) Stock Higher Today After $1.05 Billion Sale of IT Outsourcing Unit

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of Xerox Corp. (XRX) are up 3.96% to $14.44 in pre-market trade after the  services and technology company said it was selling its Information Technology Outsourcing (ITO) business to Atos for $1.05 billion prior to closing adjustments, with additional consideration of $50 million subject to the condition of certain assets at closing.

The transaction is expected to close in the first half of 2015.

The transaction will enable new levels of strategic collaboration in client situations and innovative solutions leveraging Atos' world-class ITO capabilities and highlighting Xerox's Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and Document Outsourcing expertise.

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Xerox's ITO business includes approximately 9,800 ITO employees in 45 countries, with 4,500 in the U.S. and more than 3,800 in global delivery countries. The Xerox ITO leadership team will join Atos. Xerox's existing ITO clients will gain access to Atos' global IT services capabilities and a broad range of services.

Also under the terms of this transaction, Atos will provide IT services to Xerox.

TheStreet Ratings team rates XEROX CORP as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate XEROX CORP (XRX) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its attractive valuation levels, solid stock price performance, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had somewhat disappointing return on equity."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • XEROX CORP reported flat earnings per share in the most recent quarter. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, XEROX CORP increased its bottom line by earning $0.93 versus $0.88 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($1.12 versus $0.93).
  • Looking at where the stock is today compared to one year ago, we find that it is not only higher, but it has also clearly outperformed the rise in the S&P 500 over the same period, despite the company's weak earnings results. Turning our attention to the future direction of the stock, it goes without saying that even the best stocks can fall in an overall down market. However, in any other environment, this stock still has good upside potential despite the fact that it has already risen in the past year.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is somewhat low, currently at 0.63, and is less than that of the industry average, implying that there has been a relatively successful effort in the management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 1.00 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
  • 36.60% is the gross profit margin for XEROX CORP which we consider to be strong. Regardless of XRX's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 5.19% trails the industry average.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: XRX Ratings Report
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