Kodak (NYSE: EK ) loses $246 million in 1Q on weaker sales of film, digital cameras Dominion Lending Centres Clearlease

Kodak (NYSE: EK ) loses $246 million in 1Q on weaker sales of film, digital cameras Dominion Lending Centres Clearlease

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA – (April 28, 2011) Clearlease Reports Eastman Kodak Company (NYSE: EK ) said Thursday it lost $246 million in the first quarter — its third quarterly loss in the last year — on weaker digital camera and film sales.

The results missed Wall Street expectations, and its shares fell 20 cents, or 6.3 per cent, to $2.97 in pre-market trading.

Vigorous sales of inkjet printers, however, offered glimmers of hope that the picture-taking pioneer remains on course to recast itself into a profitable player in digital photography and printing.

Kodak said its loss in the January-to-March quarter amounted to 91 cents a share. That compares with net income of $119 million, or 40 cents per share, a year earlier when results were swelled by $550 million in one-time revenue from a digital-imaging patent-litigation triumph.

Excluding items, Kodak said it lost $1.13 per share in the latest quarter. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected a loss of 48 cents a share.

Revenue dropped 31 per cent to $1.32 billion from $1.9 billion a year ago. Analysts expected revenue of $1.41 billion.

Revenue from the company’s digital business plunged 36 per cent to $955 million. But excluding the year-ago licensing payment from South Korea ‘s Samsung Electronics Co., Kodak said digital revenue rose 2 per cent and overall sales fell by just 3 per cent.

Film group sales dipped 14 per cent to $367 million, hit by industry volume declines and surging costs for silver.

Sales of Kodak’s low-end cameras have been hurt by lingering weakness in discretionary consumer spending and stiff competition from smart phones and video cameras. Part of the decline can be attributed to its attempt to shift to pricier cameras with higher profit margins.

The 130-year-old company has been struggling to make headway in its nearly decade-long digital transformation. Since 2004, it has reported only one full-year profit — in 2007 — and expects more red ink this year before crossing back to profitability sometime in 2012.

It is investing heavily in four core growth businesses, including digital inkjet printers, software and packaging, that generated a 23 per cent jump in sales in the first quarter. Sales of its most promising business, consumer inkjet printers, surged more than 50 per cent.

Kodak expects to turn its first profit from home inkjet printers this year, and its commercial line of high-speed digital presses is targeted to turn profitable in 2012.

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