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Xerox announces realignment plans

Xerox Corp. (NYSE: XRX) announced some managerial and organizational moves Tuesday in the hopes of jump-starting its faltering business in the U.S. and abroad.

Earlier this month, Xerox warned that it would fall considerably short of analysts' estimates in its fourth quarter.

First Call consensus originally predicted it would earn 66 cents a share in the quarter. It now is looking for a profit of 40 cents a share.

In Tuesday's announcement, Xerox said its production systems group, which develops high-speed printing and publishing products, will become part of the document solutions group, the organization responsible for developing and delivering solutions addressing industry-specific document challenges, such as book publishing and invoice printing.

"With this change, all of the corporation's product development firepower is now aligned with the appropriate distribution resources. The changes will improve speed, give our product development people clearer lines of sight to the customer and strengthen accountability," said CEO Rick Thoman in a prepared release.

Xerox officials said the changes will streamline the organization and result in end-to-end responsibility for all customer fulfillment.

This is the second quarter in a row that Xerox has issued a profit warning. Analysts lowered their third quarter forecasts after a Xerox warning in October caused by some of the same issues cited this time.

Its shares closed off 23/64 to 20 3/4 ahead of the announcement.

Its shares peaked at 63 15/16 in May before falling to a low of 19 3/4 earlier this month.

Nine of the 15 analysts following the stock maintain "hold" recommendations.