Raising The Toner At Xerox

By Gene G. Marcial

A Crisp New Image
Out with the old tech, in with the new -- at Xerox (XRX ). Apart from technology, an improving image is also new for the stock, which jumped from 10 last year to 15.72. A recent bull is Redwood/Technimentals Research, which mixes technical and fundamental analysis in sizing up stocks. Chief strategist Kevin Lane just flashed a "buy" on Xerox, with a 12-month target of 22. Xerox was highlighted here on Dec. 2, 2003 at 8.66. The stock, says Lane, has built a strong base since hitting a low of 3.75 in 2000, from which it has been pushing higher. Technimentals' Joseph Phillips says Xerox is moving to new-tech digital and color products, with sales growth offsetting declines in old-tech businesses with thin margins.

Xerox has rolled out or announced 35 new products this year, such as a high-speed, 120-sheet a minute digital copier. Its profitable color copiers and printers account for 24% of revenues. Jay Vleeschhouwer of Merrill Lynch (MER ), which did banking for Xerox, rates Xerox a buy, and upped his net forecast for 2004 to 83 cents on sales of $15.6 billion, and for 2005 to 93 cents on $16.4 billion.

Note: Unless otherwise noted, neither the sources cited in Inside Wall Street nor their firms hold positions in the stocks under discussion. Similarly, they have no investment banking or other financial relationships with them.

See Gene on Fridays at 1:20 p.m. EST on CNNfn's The Money Gang.

    Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.