Digital commerce and communication have been identified as threats to Xerox's traditional core business of photocopiers and printing. As a result, diversification spread into other services. Xerox acquired Affiliated Computer Services back in 2009, which also slightly turned the business model away from printing and more towards things like add-on services, though the branching out has proved to be fruitful for Xerox.
According to a statement from Morningstar's Michael Holt, "These services aren't tied to printing, but instead stem from IT outsourcing and processing Medicaid claims, which account for half of Xerox's revenue." Holt also stated that printing is cyclical, which exposes Xerox to headwinds. However, as our economy transitions its business model to services, Holt expects greater stability of operating results.
Tablets and smartphones have not been kind to consumer printing, though Xerox has had less exposure to this than some of its competitors like HP and Lexmark. According to Keith Bachman, analyst for BMO Capital Markets, "Xerox is in better shape, since Lexmark has a residual inkjet business and HP has a very meaningful inkjet business - this is positive for Xerox given the trends over the next five years."
The remnants of Xerox's printing business focuses on business and commercial printing, which is also dying at a slower rate than consumer printing. According to Bachman, "There are trends at the corporate level where companies are consolidating four or five laser jets into one in an attempt to lower the cost of printing." In addition to that, Bachman mentioned how Xerox, Cannon and other business printing manufacturers are managing companies' print services by putting printers on office floors that are located away from offices in an attempt to deter employees from printing, though they are still close enough to keep employees from complaining.
However, Xerox's shift to a services business model is one of the clearest signs that the days of a thriving printing industry are well in the past. The consensus analyst estimate for Xerox is $0.26 per share on sales of $5.6 billion. Xerox shares were recently trading at $7.25 and have dropped 12% year-to-date. Lexmark and HP, two of Xerox's biggest rivals, were also trading negative.
Source: Forbes - Xerox Works To Duplicate Copier Glory In Digital Services Model