Eastman Kodak Co., scrambling to spin larger profits from digital photography as its fabled film business erodes, said Tuesday that its quarterly loss narrowed in the July-to-September period as digital earnings surged past $100 million.
Excluding one-time items -- chiefly $202 million in restructuring costs -- the results beat Wall Street expectations and Kodak's stock rose nearly 3%.
The company, based in Rochester, N.Y., lost $37 million, or 13 cents a share, in the three months ended Sept. 30, its eighth quarterly loss in a row. But that compared with a year-earlier loss of $914 million, or $3.18 a share, when it took a $778-million tax charge linked to its massive, four-year overhaul.
"We must achieve the earnings and cash needed to pay to complete our transformation and invest aggressively," Kodak's chief executive, Antonio Perez, said in a conference call with analysts.
Without special items, Kodak earned $130 million, or 44 cents a share, in the quarter. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial had forecast earnings of 19 cents a share on sales of $3.29 billion.
Revenue fell 9.8% to $3.2 billion largely because of a slump in film sales.
"The analog-to-digital conversion is still incredibly challenging," said Shannon Cross of Cross Research in Short Hills, N.J. "Even after we get through this restructuring, they are still going to have 10,000 people in their analog business. So there will be more restructurings to come."
Kodak's shares rose 65 cents to $24.40.