Lexmark Chairman and CEO Paul Curlander Tuesday defended his companys spending on research and development compared to rivals like Hewlett Packard. Curlanders comments came as he acknowledged Lexmark suffered a "disappointing" second quarter, during a conference call with Wall Street analysts to talk about Lexmarks earnings. Richard Gardner, an analyst with Citigroup, New York, questioned Curlander sharply over Lexmarks R&D compared to rivals and even asked whether the company had to make some "tough decisions" about its flagging inkjet business.
"I was wondering if you would acknoweldge a big problem in (Lexmarks) inkjet (business) is lacking print-head technology," Gardner said. "Given that your competitors are spending five and 10 times as much on inkjet R&D technology as you are, Im wondering how you can atch up at this point, cost-effectively, and, as you say, spend as much as you need to spend on R&D to get back to where youd like to be in the consumer segment?"