Xerox Corp. (XRX) said Wednesday its fourth-quarter profit rose 18 percent on strong sales of its color products and cost cutting.

The Stamford-based maker of printers and copiers said net income available to common shareholders was $267 million, or 27 cents per share, for the three months ended Dec. 31, up from $226 million, or 24 cents per share, in the same quarter a year ago.

Excluding a 5-cent restructuring charge, the results matched the expectations of analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial for earnings of 32 cents per share, company officials said.

"Our earnings performance in the fourth quarter met expectations with increased gross margins, lower costs and operational improvements," said Anne M. Mulcahy, Xerox chairman and chief executive officer. "We delivered another quarter — and another year — of earnings growth."

Revenue declined 2 percent to $4.25 billion from $4.32 billion a year ago. Xerox blamed the decline on the effects of currency exchange rates and a shift in its product mix with stronger sales of lower-priced systems.

Xerox has returned to profitability in recent years by introducing numerous new products and cutting its work force by thousands of positions.

Xerox forecast first-quarter earnings of 20 to 23 cents per share and reiterated its full-year guidance of $1 to $1.07 per share. Mulcahy said she expects the company will deliver earnings on the high end of the range.

Analysts are expecting earnings of $1.04 for the year.