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GLOBAL PUSHES RIGHT BUTTONS IN XEROX REPORT

Xerox Corp.'s recent acquisition of Tampa-based Global Imaging Solutions is already paying off. The Stamford, Conn., company said Wednesday that Global, a distributor of office copiers and printers, helped boost its second-quarter earnings by 2 percent. Xerox chairman and CEO Anne Mulcahy called Global "a huge plus in delivering sustained equipment growth." But Global's contribution wasn't enough to prevent a reduction in Xerox's gross margins, or to stop its stock price from falling 5.7 percent, to $18.22 per share.

Vick T-shirt acts as biting commentary

A Tampa couple who love dogs and the NFL unveiled the latest in anticruelty couture on Wednesday: the Michael "Convick" jersey. Juli Bridges and her husband are selling black-and-white T-shirts emblazoned with the number 7 - Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick's jersey number - and "Convick," a play on the word "convict." Bridges said she had sold only 40 of the $20 shirts as of Tuesday via MichaelConvick.com but hoped to sell 500 eventually, with up to half of the proceeds going to no-kill animal shelters. Vick is accused of being associated with a dog-fighting gambling operation.

Diller downsizes Expedia buyback

Oh, about that big Expedia stock buyback announced last month. Never mind. Borrowing costs were too high, so instead of buying and retiring up to 116.7-million of outstanding shares at $27.50 to $30 a share, chairman Barry Diller slashed the tender off to only 25-million shares in the same price range in a Dutch auction that ends Aug. 8. Ratings agencies dropped the online travel agency's debt ratings to junk bond status after weighing the $3.5-billion extra debt impact on the company's books to buy so many shares. After trading above $29 a share since news of the offer spread, Expedia shares dropped to about where they had been before the first announcement. They closed at $26.13 on Wednesday, up 38 cents. Diller, who also controls St. Petersburg-based HSN through another company, does not plan to sell any of his Expedia shares in the buyback. In fact, his plan had been to increase his stake to 40 percent from 25 by just holding.

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