Lexmark reported a "challenging" third quarter, with revenue sliding to $851 million from $918 million in the same quarter of 2014, in its earnings call Tuesday.
Lexmark officials reported a loss of $15.2 million, or 25 cents a share, compared with a profit of $34.7 million, or 55 cents a share, for the same quarter of 2014.
In the call with analysts, Lexmark chairman and CEO Paul Rooke talked in general terms about the company's announcement last week that it is looking at "strategic alternatives" to unlock value. He did not discuss when a decision would be made.
Some of the alternatives that might be considered, he said, include sale, "spin" and taking the company private. "Spin" is corporate lingo for possibly spinning off pieces of Lexmark as independent companies.
Lexmark Enterprise Software drove growth in Higher Value Solutions revenue, which now accounts for 43 percent of total revenue, Rooke said. Lexmark has been on an acquisition spree, buying numerous companies worldwide as it moves from a printer company to a business-services company that can work with numerous business-information needs.
"We believe that value is there," Rooke told the analysts. "It's not being reflected in the marketplace."
Lexmark said it expects a difficult fourth quarter: Core revenue is expected to decline 1 percent to 3 percent year to year. Total revenue is expected to be in the range of minus-4 percent to minus-6 percent year to year.
The outlook for the fourth quarter was cast ahead to a potentially difficult 2016: Core revenue is expected to be flat to down 1 percent year to year. Total revenue is expected to be in the range of minus-3 percent to minus-4 percent year to year. Earnings per share are expected to be about $3.42 to $3.52.
While Lexmark is pursuing various ways to increase its value, the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is not currently involved with the company, cabinet spokesman Joe Lilly said.