Activist investor Carl Icahn disclosed a stake in Xerox and called the printer and copier maker’s shares “undervalued,” sending the stock up almost 3% in premarket trade.
The billionaire revealed a 7.13% stake in Xerox (XRX) in a securities filing on Monday, making him the second-largest shareholder of the 109-year-old company.
Icahn, who recently took stakes in American International Group (AIG) and Freeport-McMoran (FCX) said he would look at getting representation on Xerox’s board, as well as pursuing strategic alternatives.
“We are aware that Carl Icahn has made an investment in the company,” Sean Collins, a Xerox spokesman said. “Xerox welcomes open communications with shareholders and values constructive dialog.”
Ivan Feinseth, a Tigress Financial Partners analyst, offered a cautious view. “I like Icahn. He has done well but I just don’t know what he can do here,” Feinseth said.
On the other hand, Susquehanna Financial Group analyst James Friedman said there are multiple things that Icahn can push for in the company, including selling the equity stake in its joint venture Fuji Xerox and separating the Documents business and the IT services business.
Xerox’s IT services business offers business process outsourcing while the document outsourcing business primarily includes sales of printers and copiers.
Friedman thinks Icahn can position himself for a board seat in the upcoming May elections.
“Getting on the board is the easy part, actually fixing the business is harder,” Friedman said.
Susquehanna Financial has a valuation on Xerox of $13 per share based on a sum of the parts model, with $9 weighted on the documents business, $3 on the services business and the remaining on the Fuji Xerox business.
Xerox, whose shares have fallen more than 22% this year, is trying to turn itself around, shifting focus to software and services as corporate customers cut printing costs and consumers shift to mobile devices.
It reported its first quarterly net loss in five years in October, which prompted it to review its businesses and capital allocation options. The company, however, said it was not considering a sale.
Icahn has considerable success with spinoffs including the split of eBay (EBAY) and Paypal Holdings (PYPL), and Manitowoc Company’s (MTW) separation of its crane manufacturing business from its food service business.
More recently, Icahn has been urging a breakup of American International Group.
Vanguard Group, with an 8.37% stake, is Xerox’s top shareholder, according to Thomson Reuters data.