Poring over the toner empties, Merrill Lynch & Co figures the US laser printer market grew 15% in August, down from 30% in each of the previous five months. Hewlett-Packard Co has 85% of that market and is readying 32-ppm and two color printers for introduction this week, the brokerage believes. Lexmark International shipped 8% fewer units in August than July. The brokerage says it continues a decline as Lexmark faces tough year over year comparisons due to the success it had prior to HP’s introduction of its LaserJet 4000 in late-1997. Xerox Corp has a 14% share of the retail market and 2% overall laser share. The US ink jet market declined by 4%; it grew 15% in 1997. HP has a 52.3% share of this market down from over 60% a year ago. Lexmark had a 7.2% in August.